Biden Offers Apology to One Woman, Comfort to Another

Former VP says he's sorry he didn't shield Anita Hill more from attacks, consoles Meghan McCain
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2017 6:49 AM CST
In this May 24, 2017, file photo, former Vice President Joe Biden delivers the annual Harvard College Class Day address at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – When law professor Anita Hill faced the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 to testify about the sexual harassment she said she endured from then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, she also faced down attacks on her character and credibility—and many (including Hill herself) still blame Joe Biden, the senator who led the panel, for allowing that to happen. Now he tells Teen Vogue he's sorry for his role. "I believed Anita Hill. I voted against Clarence Thomas," he says. "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." He says he felt his hands were tied as he tried to simply play "judge" in the proceedings, but he wonders if he could've done more, including subpoenaing witnesses who may have backed Hill up. "I wish I had been able to do more for Anita Hill," he says. "I owe her an apology."

Also making the rounds, per the New York Times: a video of Biden on The View Wednesday morning, in which he consoled Meghan McCain as they talked about the aggressive brain cancer both her dad, Sen. John McCain, and Biden's son, the late Beau Biden, were struck by. After an emotional McCain confessed to Biden she couldn't get through his book on Beau's life and his battle with glioblastoma, Biden took her hand and said to her: "One of the things that gave Beau courage, my word, was John." He then discussed recent breakthroughs in dealing with the cancer and told her that "if anybody can make it," it was the senator. "You gotta maintain hope." Among the online reaction to the segment, which can be viewed here, was a tweet from John McCain: "Thank you @JoeBiden & the entire Biden family for serving as an example & source of strength for my own family."

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