Joe Biden Declines to Directly Apologize to Anita Hill for His Handling of 1991 Hearing – The New York Times

Mr. Biden largely sidestepped a question about how a Biden presidency would differ from the Obama administration, only saying that the two men disagreed on the “implementation” and “timing of some things.” He said that he had asked Mr. Obama not to endorse him in the 2020 race because “I didn’t want it to look like he was putting his thumb on the scale here.”

Asked if he would say he was sorry to the women who have complained that he touched them inappropriately over the years, Mr. Biden repeatedly refused to give a direct apology. “Here’s the deal: I have to be much more aware of the private space of men and women — it’s not just women, but primarily women,” he said.

Pressed further by the hosts, he said: “I’m really sorry if what I did in talking to them, trying to console, that in fact they took it a different way.” He then addressed the women directly, saying, “Sorry I invaded your space,” though he said he did not do anything to make anyone uncomfortable intentionally.

In a lengthy telephone interview earlier this week, Ms. Hill told The Times that the call from Mr. Biden had left her feeling deeply unsatisfied. She declined to characterize Mr. Biden’s words to her as an apology and said she was not convinced that he has taken full responsibility for his conduct at the hearings.

“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying, ‘I’m sorry for what happened to you,’” said Ms. Hill, now a professor of social policy, law and women’s studies at Brandeis University. “I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose.”

“The focus on apology, to me, is one thing,” Ms. Hill added. “But he needs to give an apology to the other women and to the American public because we know now how deeply disappointed Americans around the country were about what they saw.”

The Biden campaign said Thursday that it would have no comment beyond its initial statement about the call.


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