Updated Apr 25, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Anita Hill says she's not satisfied with Biden's private apology

Joe Biden

Then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden in 1991. Photo: Bettmann via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden has spoken with Anita Hill and expressed his regret about how she was treated during Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearing in 1991, according to a Biden campaign spokesperson.

"Vice President Biden has spoken with Anita Hill. 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."

The other side: In an interview with the New York Times, Hill said: "I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I’m sorry for what happened to you. I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose."

The backdrop: Hill accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991 and has previously said that Biden, then the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, "could have done more" to support her claims.

"The focus on apology to me is one thing. 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."

Biden said at a speech in March: "I wish I could have done something — I opposed Clarence Thomas’ nomination, and I voted against him...To this day, I regret that I could not come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing she deserved, given the courage she showed by reaching out to us."

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about 2020 candidate Joe Biden

Go deeper