Bernie backer Tlaib invokes Anita Hill to undercut Biden

Bernie backer Tlaib invokes Anita Hill to undercut Biden

After a Super Tuesday that wildly exceeded expectations from just a few days earlier, former Vice President Joe Biden is back in the political crosshairs now that the Democratic presidential primary has essentially become a two-man race between him and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

In the latest volley, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who has endorsed Sanders, brought up Biden’s treatment of Anita Hill while he was the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman during the 1991 confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment and testified before the committee. Biden has had to apologize on the campaign trail for his handling of the proceedings.

“Q: Who silenced Anita Hill when she was trying to speak out about Clarence Thomas?” Tlaib tweeted.

“A: Joe Biden,” she said.


In a FOX Nation documentary on the Thomas confirmation hearings last year, former Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said that Biden had told him at the time he didn’t believe Hill.

“Biden told me personally that he didn’t believe her. He said, ‘I don’t know why she did this.’ I don’t mean to malign Joe, but Joe told me he didn’t believe her and there were some others that told me that, too,” Hatch said.

Biden apologized to Hill personally last year, according to a statement released from his campaign at the time.

“Vice President Biden has spoken with Anita Hill. They had a private discussion where he shared with her directly his regret for what she endured and his admiration for everything she has done to change the culture around sexual harassment in this country,” the statement read.

Tlaib’s tweet comes as Sanders backers are regrouping to beat Biden, who now holds a lead in delegates going into the Democratic National Convention, in what has become a much narrower primary field. On Wednesday Tlaib said she was planning to redouble her efforts to back Sanders as the moderate wing of the Democratic Party coalesces around Biden.

Asked if the Super Tuesday result was a rebuke of Sanders and socialism, Tlaib said: “I don’t think it has anything to do with ‘isms. I actually think it has a lot to do with people that make decisions that already have power.”

Tlaib continued: “I wouldn’t call it a coup … but it makes me want to work harder.”


Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., another member of the so-called “squad” of freshman Democratic lawmakers dedicated to turning the party to the left – who has also endorsed Sanders – tweeted Wednesday that she is optimistic Sanders can beat Biden.

“Let’s remind ourselves what we are fighting for,” she said. “We are fighting for a health care system that doesn’t bankrupt families. We are fighting for a planet that is livable. We are fighting for a democracy that represents everyone. This fight will be long, but I know we will win.”

Sanders will have an opportunity to get back on track in his battle against Biden next Tuesday when Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington state go to the Democratic primary polls.

Fox News’ Matt London, Marisa Schultz and Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report. 

Tyler Olson covers politics for You can contact him at and follow him on Twitter at @TylerOlson1791.

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