Presidential candidate Joe Biden was visibly uncomfortable as Joy Behar pressed him on Friday to apologize to Anita Hill “personally.”
Hill said she was dissatisfied with a phone call from Biden just before he announced his bid this week, in which he said “I’m sorry for what happened to you.” Biden reiterated this version of the apology on “The View,” saying he was sorry “for the way she was treated,” but stopped short of a personal apology.
“You know I think what she wants you to say is I’m sorry for the way I treated you, not for the way you were treated,” Behar told Biden. “I think that would be closer.”
“But I’m sorry for the way she got treated,” Biden replied to Behar. “I never heard — if you go back and look at what I said and I didn’t say, I don’t think I treated her badly. I took on her opposition. What I couldn’t figure out how to do — and we still haven’t figured it out — how do you stop people from asking inflammatory questions? How do you stop the character assassinations?”
“There was a full-blown attack on her in order to try to get the defense for Clarence Thomas. No woman or any victim of harassment should ever be put through that circumstance in public hearings,” he continued.
Another host had asked Biden why it took him so long to call her.
“I tell you what the deal was,” Biden said. “I did not — since I had publicly apologized for the way she was treated, I had publicly said it and publicly gave her credit for the contributions you made to change this culture in a significant way. What I didn’t want to do — I didn’t want to, quote, invade her space. I didn’t want to get in the situation where this became — then when I heard all this about the — and it was legitimate — expecting a call every time the phone rang. And so I spoke to some leading women advocates in this area, some who knew her, and I said could you see whether she’s take my call? And I was grateful she took my call.”