Former Vice President gave his first interview after announcing his presidential campaign on The View this morning. Many topics came up, including his inappropriate touching of women and Anita Hill.

The five women pressed him for apologies, but Biden stopped short of providing one.


Host Sunny Hostin asked Biden if he is sorry for making females feel uncomfortable and if is “prepared to apologize to those women.” He dodged the question.

From The New York Times:

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.

That did not satisfy the women. From Decider:

Hostin was quick to call out Biden’s run-around answer. “They’ve also said, ‘We’d like an apology,’” she fired back. “I’m really sorry for what I did in talking to them or trying to console, that in fact they took it a different way,” he replied. That didn’t seem to satisfy Joy Behar, either. “Nancy Pelosi wants you to say, ‘I’m sorry that I invaded your space.’” Biden was clearly hesitant to apologize, and after a beat, he half-heartedly answered. “I’m sorry I invaded your space,” he said with a shrug. “I’m sorry this happened. But I’m not sorry in the sense that I think I did anything that was intentionally designed to do anything wrong or be inappropriate.”

He promised a few weeks ago that he would be more “mindful” of people’s personal space from now on.

Anita Hill

Biden served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 when Anita Hill accused now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.

Biden came under scrutiny for the way the senators treated her during the hearings. He personally called Hill the other day to apologize, but Hill brushed it aside.

She told The New York Times on Thursday that “the call from Mr. Biden left her feeling deeply unsatisfied.” She did not “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 — or for the harm he caused other victims of sexual harassment and gender violence.” More from the Times:

“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.”

Ms. Hill, a deeply private woman who does not often speak publicly about her experience, said she does not find Mr. Biden’s conduct disqualifying. “I’m really open to people changing,” she said.

But, she added, she cannot support Mr. Biden for president until he takes full responsibility for his conduct, including his failure to call as corroborating witnesses other women who were willing to testify before the Judiciary Committee. By leaving them out, she said, he created a “he said, she said” situation that did not have to exist.

“The focus on apology, to me, is one thing,” Ms. Hill said. “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.”

Joy Behar suggested to Biden that he say, “I’m sorry for the way I treated you, not for the way you were treated.”

Biden instead said that he is “sorry for the way she got treated” and told the hosts to look back at what he “said, and didn’t say” because he believes he didn’t treat “her badly.”

Looks like Hill was correct not to describe Biden’s call as an apology:

On Friday, Mr. Biden spoke largely in passive voice about how Ms. Hill was treated, despite the fact that he led the Senate committee when she testified before it.

Describing their phone call, he said, “I said privately what I’ve said publicly. I’m sorry she was treated the way she was treated. I wish we could have figured out a better way to get this done. I did everything in my power to do what I thought was within the rules to be able to stop things.”

Ana Navarro expressed her disgust that it took so long for Biden to call Hill. He justified the delay because he already “publicly apologized for the way she was treated” and “didn’t want to, quote, invade her space.”

Biden truly thinks he did nothing wrong in either sense. The way Biden worded both responses made me believe he blamed the women. He was a tad more blunt with Hill, passing the blame to others.

Maybe he personally didn’t do anything wrong, but he chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee. President Harry Truman had on his desk “the buck stops here.” Will Biden take that advice or will he blame others for everything?

I don’t think this will sit well with women.


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