Rendell (D) Compares Biden's Handling of Anita Hill to Northam's Blackface Scandal

April 26, 2019

Former Pennsylvania governor and Democratic National Committee chair Ed Rendell compared former vice president Joe Biden's handling of Anita Hill during Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's confirmation hearing to the fallout from Gov. Ralph Northam's (D., Va.) blackface scandal.

"Do you think what happened with Anita Hill will be a challenge for him on the campaign trail?" host Alisyn Camerota asked on CNN's New Day on Friday.

"No, because he has a terrific record on women's issues. Look, we, and I include the media and people like me who make our business politics, we tend to think the public reacts or overreacts to everything. It's not true," Rendell said.

"The proof of that is Governor Northam in Virginia, who wore blackface at a college photo session. There's a recent poll that shows 55 percent of African-Americans in Virginia don't want him to resign. Why? He's been a good governor on their issues. That's what people are interested in. What are they doing to help the challenges we face? That's more important than some apology that could be construed one way or the other," Rendell continued.

"So you think women in general will forgive Joe Biden for what happened with Anita Hill?" Camerota asked.

"I think it won't be a factor in deciding whether or not to vote for or support Vice President Biden. At the fundraiser, there were a lot of women who gave $2,800, and some of them I know it was a significant dent in their financial resources. So I think he has support among women. I don't think this will change it in any way," Rendell responded.

Biden chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee during Thomas's confirmation hearing in 1991. Hill alleged she had been sexually harassed by Thomas, a claim denied by the Supreme Court justice.

Biden called Hill earlier this month to apologize for how she was treated during the hearing, but she was still unsatisfied.

"I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I’m sorry for what happened to you. I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose," Hill told the New York Times.

Northam refused to resign as governor after it was discovered that his medical school yearbook page contained a picture of a man in a Ku Klux Klan hood next to a man wearing blackface.

Published under: Ed Rendell , Joe Biden