Anita Hill, who in 1991 famously sparred with then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden over her accusations that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, has endorsed his 2020 White House run.
Hill said that her personal history with Biden, which the two have worked on reconciling in recent years, will not stand in the way of defeating President Donald Trump, and that she believes Biden is the man for the job.
“Notwithstanding all of his limitations in the past, and the mistakes that he made in the past, notwithstanding those — at this point, between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, I think Joe Biden is the person who should be elected in November,” Hill told CNN’s Gloria Borger on Saturday. “Its more about the survivors of gender violence. That’s really what it’s about.”
Borger pressed Hill on whether she would be willing to work with Biden directly on issues such as sexual violence against women.
“So be it” if that is what it takes, she replied. “My commitment is to finding solutions, and I am more than willing to work with him.”
Hill admitted that her humiliating experience at Thomas’ confirmation hearings in 1991 soured her on ever working for the government, but that ridding the country of Trump far outweighs her personal qualms.
“One of the impacts of 1991 was my desire not to really work with the government in any way,” she continued. “I always said, I think I can be more effective as an outsider, as opposed to an insider. And now, I’m willing to evolve myself, to work for change inside.”
To Hill, the future of how victims of sexual violence are treated in the United States is what truly matters.
“What drives me is the people who have experienced [those issues] and the people who will be experiencing them, if we don’t do something about it,” Hill said. “That is what has opened me up to do something that I probably would not have said I would do a year ago.”
In 2019, Biden assumed personal accountability for his role in casting doubt on Hill’s testimony – she claimed at the time that Thomas sexually harassed when she worked for him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“As the committee chairman, I take responsibility that she did not get treated well. I take responsibility for that,” Biden said.
That was a sufficient enough apology after so many years of feeling dismissed, Hill said.
“There was a statement about ‘I take accountability; I hold myself responsible for the way the hearing was run,'” Hill explained. “And so that, I think, is as close as we’ve gotten, you know, and that’s good. That’s an opening.”
Hill added that she has no doubt that only one candidate has earned her trust to respect victims.
“I want the next president to be somebody that I can go to and talk about the real issues that women, men, and non-binary people are experiencing with violence in this country, that’s directed to them because of their gender,” Hill said. “I believe that Joe Biden would be that person. I do not believe that Donald Trump would be the person who would hear me.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.