Joe Biden made an appearance on The View today, possibly one of the more favorable settings he’s going to experience over the next couple of years. Then he managed to dig himself, somehow, even deeper over his handling of Anita Hill’s allegations against Clarence Thomas.
Biden recently spoke to Hill and told her he was sorry for “the way she was treated,” a non-apology for his role in that treatment which Hill unequivocally rejected. In his View appearance, Biden reiterated this stance. “She’s one of the reasons why we have the #MeToo movement, she’s one of the reasons why I was able to finish writing the Violence Against Women Act,” Biden said. “She’s responsible for significant changes and deserves credit for it.”
After being pressed by guest host Ana Navarro as to why it took him nearly 30 years to make that phone call, Biden doubled down. “Since I had publicly apologized for the way she was treated, I had publicly said it and publicly had given her credit for the contributions she made to change the culture in a significant way, I didn’t want to quote, ‘invade her space,’” Biden said, which raises the question of when, if ever, he’s been worried about invading spaces.
Still, Biden refused to apologize to Hill for his role in her treatment, which was a substantial one considering he was the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time. “I think what she wants you to say is, ‘I’m sorry for the way I treated you,’ not, ‘I’m sorry for the way you were treated,’” co-host Joy Behar told Biden, practically feeding Biden the information as if he was a tiny baby bird.
“Well, but,” Biden protested, before blaming things on Congressional procedure. “I’m sorry for the way she got treated, but—if you go back and look at what I said and say, I don’t think I treated her badly. I took on her opposition. What I couldn’t figure out, and we still haven’t figured it out, how do you stop people from asking inflammatory questions, how do you stop these character assassinations from outside?”
During the interview, Biden also refused to make a “one-term pledge,” which was once rumored to be apart of the 76-year old’s campaign rollout.
“I may end up, if I get elected, only having one term,” Biden said. “I think it’s a legitimate question to ask about my age, the same question was asked if I was elected at the age of 29 before I was old enough to serve [in the Senate]...but that’s for you all to decide.”
Biden also gave a pretty good preview of what his campaign is going to look like moving forward, stressing his desire to reach “blue-collar voters” won by Trump in 2016 by “restoring dignity.”
“How are you going to reach those voters?” Joy Behar asked.
“I think by making the case that we have to restore dignity to work. We have to restore dignity to the way we treat people,” Biden said. “The way we treat ordinary, hardworking Americans who are middle-class and working-class people trying to get into the middle class, is that we treat them like they’re a means to an end, as opposed to an ends in itself.” (Biden attributed this quote to Kant, showing he’s learned at least one thing from his very first run for president.)
We’re in for a long one. If this interview from a friendly crowd was any indication, so is Joe Biden.