In his first sit-up interview of his presidential campaign, Joseph R. Biden Jr. Friday has repeatedly declined to directly apologize to Anita Hill for his handling of Clarence Thomas's 1991 hearings, instead delivering a broad statement of remorse for how she was treated during the combative questioning she faced from a all-male Senate committee that he led.  Appearing on ABC's "The View," which is heavily watched by women, Mr. Biden was asked by one of its hosts, Joy Behar, about his reluctance in recent months to offer a straightforward apology to Ms. Hill for his own judgment and leadership during the hearings. Ms. Behar suggested that Mr. Biden should say, "I'm sorry for the way I treated you, not for the way you were treated."
[ Read our analysis of Mr. Biden's appearance on The View ]
The former vice president also declined to pledge that he would serve only one term if elected president, spoke about his relationship with former President Barack Obama, and addressed his past treatment of women who have said their touching and their conduct made them uncomfortable.
The appearance of "The View" came after a spokeswoman of Biden said the former vice president called Ms. Hill a few weeks ago and expressed "his regret for what she endured" 28 years ago. At that time Mr. Biden, who was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was chairing confirmation hearings in which Ms. Hill accused Justice Thomas, President George Bush's nomination to the Supreme Court, of sexual harassment and faced aggressive and misogynistic questioning. Ms. Hill said she was deeply unsatisfied by phone call.
On Friday, Mr. Biden spoke largely in a passive voice about how Ms. Hill was treated, despite the fact that he led the Senate committee when she testified before it.
Describing their phone call, he said, "I said privately what I said publicly. I'm sorry she was treated the way she was treated. I wish we could have figured out a better way to get this done. I did everything in my power to do what I thought in the rules to be able to stop things. "
" I do not know why it took you so long to call her, "Ana Navarro, another host, said . "I wish it had happened before."
"Since I had been publicly apologized for the way she was treated," Mr. Biden said, "I did not want to, quote, invade her space," calling her privately.
Mr. Biden largely sidestepped a question about how the Biden presidency would be different from the Obama administration, only saying that the two men disagreed on the "implementation" and "timing of some things." He said that he had asked Mr. Obama did not endorse him in the 2020 race because "I did not want it to look like he was putting his thumb on the scale here."
Asked if he would say sorry to the women who complained that he touched them inappropriately over the years, Mr. Biden repeatedly refused to give a direct apology. "Here's the deal: I have to be much more aware of the private space of men and women – it's not just women, but mainly women," he said.
Pressed further by the hosts, he said: "I'm really sorry if what I did in talking to them, trying to console, that they actually took it different way. "He then addressed the women directly, saying" Sorry I invaded your space ", although he said he did not do anything to make anyone uncomfortable deliberately.
In a lengthy telephone interview earlier this week, Ms. Hill told The Times that the call from Mr. Biden had left her feeling deeply unsatisfied. She declined to characterize Mr. Biden's words to her as an apology and she said she was not convinced that he had taken full responsibility for his conduct at hearings.
"I can not be satisfied by simply saying," I'm sorry for what happened to you, " "Said Ms. Hill, now a professor of social policy, law and women's studies at Brandeis University. "I will be satisfied when I know there's real changes and real accountability and real purpose."
"The focus on apology for me is one thing," Ms. Hill added. "But we need to know how the deeply disappointed Americans around the country were about what they saw."
The Biden campaign said Thursday that it would have no comment beyond its initial statement about the call.
Mr. Biden and Ms. Hill "had a private discussion where he shared with her directly his regret for what she endured and his admiration for everything she did to change the culture around sexual harassment in this country," said deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield.
"The View" is the first of only a handful of appearances and events that the Biden campaign has announced. He is set to deliver remarks on Monday in Pittsburgh on "an inclusive middle class" and then on Tuesday and Wednesday in Iowa