It ain’t good enough.
That’s the word from Anita Hill on overtures the latest Democratic presidential hopeful, former Vice President Joe Biden, made to her in the weeks leading up to the official announcement of his candidacy Thursday.
According to the New York Times, Hill says Biden offered her regrets for “what she endured” during her 1991 testimony against then Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Biden chaired. But Hill says she doesn’t think Biden fully grasps the harm he caused her and other women who’ve suffered sexual harassment.
“The focus on apology to me is one thing,” Hill told the Times. “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. And not just women. There are women and men now who have just really lost confidence in our government to respond to the problem of gender violence.”
In 1991, Hill accused Thomas of having sexually harassed her when she worked with him at two different jobs. Thomas denied Hill’s claims.
Biden was chair, as CNBC notes, of the “all-white, all-male” Judiciary Committee that heard Hill’s testimony and grilled her about her accusations.
Hill has said Biden “could have done more” to support her claims by having people who supported her allegations testify as well, CNBC reports.
A spokesman for Biden acknowledged the conversation with Hill took place, telling CNBC:
“They had a private discussion where he shared with her directly his regret for what she endured and his admiration for everything she has done to change the culture around sexual harassment in this country.”
In a speech in March, according to the news site, Biden spoke more expansively on the issue, saying:
“A brave lawyer, a really notable woman, Anita Hill, a professor, showed the courage of a lifetime talking about her experience being harassed by Clarence Thomas ... But she paid a terrible price. She was abused in the hearing. She was taken advantage of. Her reputation was attacked. I wish I could have done something.”