Retired Dem lawmaker who advised Anita Hill: 'I really want to know' if Biden 'sees women as equals'

Former Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.) questioned former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE’s commitment to equal treatment for women on Friday after Biden revealed he had reached out to Anita Hill, the law professor who testified about allegations of sexual harassment regarding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

In an interview with CNN, Schroeder, who advocated for Hill during her time in Congress and advised Hill prior to her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, described Biden’s conduct towards her and other women of the House when they demanded Hill be allowed to testify in 1991.


“As you know, the congresswomen gave one-minute-speeches on the floor [prior to Thomas’s hearing], and then walked over to the Senate because we were so upset that they weren’t even going to let her testify. And remember, [Biden] was the chairman,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder asserted that Biden was pressured by then-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine) into letting Hill testify, adding that Biden would not have allowed it otherwise.

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“He said to us: You really don’t understand. I promised [former] Sen. [John] Danforth [(R-Mo.)] in the gym that this would be a quick hearing,” Schroeder said, adding that Biden was a member of the “boys’ club.”

Schroeder added that she wasn’t sure Biden had changed since he was chairman of the Judiciary Committee during Thomas’s hearing.

“I really want to know that [Biden] sees women as equals,” she said. “Not just saying it, but [that] he really works with them as equals.”

Hill said in a statement Thursday following Biden’s 2020 campaign launch that the former vice president reached out to her for the first time in decades weeks before his announcement, adding that his failure to apologize for his treatment of her had become a “running joke” in her family.

Now a Brandeis University professor, Hill added that she wouldn’t call Biden’s talk with her in recent weeks a full apology.

“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying, ‘I’m sorry for what happened to you,’” she told The New York Times. “I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose.”

Biden refused to apologize for his own conduct during the 1991 hearings Friday during an interview with “The View” on ABC when questioned about Hill’s remarks.

“I’m sorry for the way she got treated,” he said. “Look at what I said and didn’t say; I don’t think I treated her badly.”

“I believed Dr. Hill, I believed what she was saying,” Biden added. “There were a lot of mistakes made across the board and for those I apologize. We could have conducted it better, but I believed Dr. Hill from the beginning and I said it.”

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