2020 Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar said in an interview that aired Sunday that Anita Hill’s 1991 testimony during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas motivated her to get into politics.
Klobuchar, a Democratic senator from Minnesota, said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that she “watched every moment” of the hearing as a young lawyer and that she continues to believe Hill’s testimony that Thomas sexually harassed her.
Klobuchar’s comments come just days after former Vice President Joe Biden entered the 2020 Democratic presidential fray and as – in the midst of the #MeToo era — he continues to face sharp criticism for his treatment of Hill during the hearing. At the time, Biden was a senator from Delaware.
“That's going to be Joe Biden's issue,” Klobuchar said. “He'll have to continue to address it.”
Biden last week said he doesn't think he mistreated Hill, though he has said publicly he regrets how she was treated.
During an interview on ABC's "The View" on Friday, the former vice president said "I don't think I treated her badly," during a discussion about his role as Senate Judiciary Chairman during the contentious confirmation hearing for Thomas.
Biden has apologized for Hill's treatment by others, a point he made again Friday, wondering aloud "how you stop people from asking inflammatory questions."
Biden's campaign has said the former vice president spoke to Hill in the days preceding his presidential campaign announcement Thursday.
The renewed attacks about the Hill testimony come just weeks after he struggled to respond to a complaint from Lucy Flores, a 2014 lieutenant governor nominee in Nevada that he made her uncomfortable by touching her shoulders and kissing the back of her head before a campaign event. A few other women have made similar claims, though none has alleged sexual misconduct.
The incidents are just a taste of the harsh vetting from both Democrats and Republicans expected for Biden, who has run for president twice before but never from such a strong political starting point.
Despite the criticism, Biden – on paper, at least – appears to be well positioned to take on Trump in a general election.
The Republican president's allies have privately warned that Biden might be the biggest threat to Trump's re-election given Biden's potential appeal among the white-working class in the Midwest, the same region that helped Trump win the presidency.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.