Former Vice President Joe Biden Calls on Senate Not to Vilify Christine Blasey Ford Like Anita Hill

September 21, 2018, 1:03 PM UTC

Former vice president Joe Biden is doubling down in his support of Christine Blasey Ford, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser.

Speaking to NBC’s TODAY on Friday, Biden told Craig Melvin that he believes that an FBI investigation should be undertaken, explaining that “we did that for Anita Hill and it took two days.”

But Biden also took the opportunity to warn senators to treat Ford better than Hill was treated in 1991. “Most importantly, Anita Hill was vilified when she came forward by many of my colleagues,” he said. Asserting that it amounted to “character assassination,” Biden added, “I wish I could have done more to prevent those questions and the way they asked them.”

“I hope my colleagues learned from that. She deserves to be treated with dignity,” he said. “It takes enormous courage for a woman to come forward, [with] the bright lights and millions of people watching and relive something that happened to her, she asserted happened to her, and she should be treated with respect.”

When asked how to balance the rights of Ford and the presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty, Biden said, “I think the presumption should exist but what should happen is, the woman should be given the benefit of the doubt and not be abused again by the system.”

He explained that his “biggest regret” was that he was unable to shut off Senators who were “attacking Anita Hill’s character.” Senate rules prevented him from “gaveling down” his colleagues and blocking them from asking certain questions, “so what happened was she got victimized again during the process.”

Ultimately, Biden called on the Senators in the Judiciary Committee to ask the “tough” and “substantive” questions, but to keep in mind the “courage it takes for someone to come forward and relive what they believe happened to them.”

“Treat her with respect,” he said.