Former Vice President Joe Biden is expressing regret over how he handled the 1991 hearing in which Anita Hill shared stories about alleged sexual harassment from her former boss Clarence Thomas who the Senate was preparing to confirm as a justice on the Supreme Court.
“I believed Anita Hill. I voted against Clarence Thomas. And I insisted the next election — I campaigned for two women Senators on the condition that if they won they would come on the Judiciary Committee, so there would never be again all men making a judgement on this,” Biden said in an interview published Wednesday by Teen Vogue.
Biden chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time of the hearings. Thomas was confirmed in a 52-48 vote. Hill alleged that Thomas had sexually harassed her when she worked in his office.
“And my one regret is that I wasn’t able to tone down the attacks on her by some of my Republican friends. I mean, they really went after her. As much as I tried to intervene, I did not have the power to gavel them out of order. I tried to be like a judge and only allow a question that would be relevant to ask,” he added.
Biden says he wants to apologize to Hill.
“I wish I had been able to do more for Anita Hill,” he said. “I owe her an apology.”
In November, Biden made similar comments when he was asked about the hearings for Thomas at Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year summit.
“Let’s get something straight here, I believed Anita Hill. I voted against Clarence Thomas,” Biden said, according to The Huffington Post. “The only issue in the Anita Hill case was whether or not there could be information submitted in a record without a name attached to it, anonymously accusing someone of something.”
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