Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts on Tuesday hit Joe Biden from the left, demanding to know what more the Democrat could have done to defend Anita Hill in her attacks on Clarence Thomas in 1991. Though Roberts asked some tough questions, she also offered softballs, such as wondering if the presidential candidate has a motto: “The President has a motto, make America great again. Do you have one?”
Still, the GMA host started by flashing back 28 years: “I began by asking him about Anita Hill who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment when he was nominated for the Supreme Court in 1991. Biden presided over the confirmation hearing and has been criticized for how Anita Hill was treated.”
Roberts noted that Hill hasn’t accepted this as an apology:
And moving forward and deciding to run, you reached out to Anita Hill. She has recently said, when asked if she felt it was an apology, that you had extended, she said, no. She said, “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.”
Roberts has a history of fawning over Hill and assuming that Thomas is a liar. On October 10, 2011, she interviewed the woman who accused the future Supreme Court justice of sexual harassment: “Take us back. What were your emotions?...Are you still angry?" Later, Roberts fawned, “I know there's still many books to be written, but [what's] your legacy?”
In 2007, Roberts sympathetically spun the “withering” media attacks on Hill.
Other questions from Tuesday’s interview with Biden were tougher. Speaking of the economy, the co-host grilled:
What would you say to the Trump voter, the Trump supporter who looks at the economy and sees very strong numbers? Here in Pennsylvania where the unemployment is at a record low of 3.9 percent.
Regarding how Biden has seemed to make light of his unwanted touching, Roberts demanded, “And some people were wondering do you really get it?”
A transcript of Roberts’s questions can be found below:
Good Morning America
7:06:13 to 7:11:51
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: The race for the White House and Joe Biden's campaign kickoff in the key state of Pennsylvania. In his first rally he went straight at President Trump.
JOE BIDEN: Donald Trump is only President — is the only president who's decided not to represent the whole country. The President has his base. We need a president who works for all Americans. And we can afford this. We can do this.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That was in Pittsburgh. And, Robin, right before the speech, you had the chance to sit down with the Vice President and his wife, Jill.
ROBIN ROBERTS: And as we all know, Biden is facing so much as the front runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. He is facing tough questions about his nearly half century in public life. I began by asking him about Anita Hill who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment when he was nominated for the Supreme Court in 1991. Biden presided over the confirmation hearing and has been criticized for how Anita Hill was treated. And moving forward and deciding to run, you reached out to Anita Hill. She has recently said when asked if she felt it was an apology that you had extended, she said, no, she said, “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.”
JOE BIDEN: I was grateful she took the call. I don’t want to get into our private conversation.
[Clip of Biden talking about unwanted touching.]
BIDEN: I hear what they are saying. I understand and I’ll be much more mindful. My responsibility and I”ll meet it.
ROBERTS: You put out the video and it was a very powerful video right after these accusations from women who said that you made them feel uncomfortable.
BIDEN: I get it. I get it.
ROBERTS: But then shortly thereafter you're addressing a group, mainly men, and you make light of it.
BIDEN: I just want you to know, I had permission to hug Lonnie.
ROBERTS: And some people were wondering do you really get it?
ROBERTS [To Jill Biden]: How did you react when those first accusations were made?
ROBERTS [To Jill Biden]: Have you ever experienced a similar situation when a man made you feel uncomfortable by their actions or inappropriate language of any sort? Has that ever happened to you?
JILL BIDEN: Yes, it’s happened to me.
ROBERTS: And how did you handle it?
ROBERTS: The President has a motto, make America great again. Do you have one?
7:41:19 to 7:45:31
STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are back now for more of Robin’s exclusive with Jill and Joe Biden.
ROBERTS: We did it yesterday in Pittsburgh and he’s going in, as you know, a very crowded field. I asked him why he decided to run again for the third time. You are the 20th Democrat to announce for president. What differentiates you from the other 19?
ROBERTS: You also have referred to yourself as an Obama/Biden Democrat. People look at that and say, are you running for a third Obama term? How would your presidency be substantially different?
ROBERTS: What would you say to the Trump voter, the Trump supporter who looks at the economy and sees very strong numbers? Here in Pennsylvania where the unemployment is at a record low of 3.9%.
BIDEN: well, what I'd say is did you get any benefit from the tax cut? Have your wages really gone up? Do your employers treat you with any more respect and dignity than they did before? What's the story? Ask these folks. Ask the folks in this state. I know this state pretty well
and the fact of the matter is they're not getting their fair share. The American people, the people who built this country are ordinary Americans who have done extraordinary things from neighborhoods like we come from.
And this president does not show a great deal of respect and he continues to divide the country. For example, ask him how hard it is to get their kid to college. Six in ten jobs require a high school degree. Ask him how easy it is to afford it. Why do we give a tax break to Wall Street but we don't give a tax break for -- significant tax break for day care or for child care? Why don't we do that?
ROBERTS: Is it hard to get the message across when people look at their bottom line and it's better than it was two, four years ago?
ROBERTS: The Mueller report, what was your initial reaction to the findings?
ROBERTS: Donald Trump is very confident that should you win the nomination, that he could beat you easily. Are you as confident you can win the nomination and defeat him?