Biden, a Democratic presidential prospect who often highlights his white working-class roots, said Hill, who is black, should not have been forced to face a panel of “a bunch of white guys” about her sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas.
“To this day I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to give her the kind of hearing she deserved,” he said Tuesday night, echoing comments he delivered last fall as the nation debated sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh amid his Supreme Court confirmation hearing. “I wish I could have done something.”
Biden’s role in the 1991 Thomas confirmation hearings is among his many political challenges as he considers making a 2020 bid for the presidency. Should he run, he would be among a handful of white men in a Democratic presidential field that features several women and minorities.
His comments about Hill drew swift condemnation on social media, with many noting he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time of the hearing.