April 1st, 2008
09:00 AM ET
7 years ago

Chelsea Clinton confronts another Lewinsky question


Chelsea Clinton received another question Monday that she chose not to answer.

(CNN) - It's a subject Chelsea Clinton would clearly like to avoid, but the former first daughter again fielded a question on the Monica Lewinsky scandal Monday.

Campaigning at North Carolina State, a student brought up the touchy-subject, saying the scandal was the public's business since the incident occurred when her father was President of the United States.

The younger Clinton sharply disagreed she should discuss the matter.

"It's none of your business," she said. "That is something that is personal to my family. I'm sure there are things that are personal to your family that you don't think are anyone else's business either."

As the student left the event, the former first daughter also said she doesn't think people should "vote for or against my mother because of my father.

The student later defended his comments to CNN affiliated WTVD, saying "I felt that it is our business because he was president at the time, and his first duty is to be chief citizen."

The comments follow an incident at Butler University last week when a student asked whether the scandal had hurt her mother's reputation.

Chelsea Clinton appeared taken aback by the question, saying, "Wow, you're the first person actually that's ever asked me that question in the, I don't know maybe, 70 college campuses I've now been to, and I do not think that is any of your business."

The Butler student later said he was a supporter of Hillary Clinton's who was merely giving the former first daughter an opportunity to show how strong her mother is.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Chelsea Clinton
soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. Syndy

    If Chelsea cannot answer such questions, she should not be on the road campaigning for her mother. She must understand that she views her mother in the context of a mother, wheareas others see her and Bill Clinton in a more negative light. I really feel sorry for Chelsea. Neither of her parents should have her out there. If Hilary became the candidate, the questions will become more severe and nasty.


    March 31, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. Liz, Pittsburgh PA

    This kid obviously just wanted some attention. He planned to do this bc he saw all the coverage the kid from Butler University was getting by the media. How sad!!! I feel bad for this loser!!!

    March 31, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. Dale

    The Clintons are all alike, liars and they think they are above the law.

    March 31, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. BJ in PA

    If she can't take any question and turn it around to be a positive, she doesn't belong on the campaign trail. She's not a little girl anymore. What will she do now? Limit the questions to only come from third graders? If these college kids want an answer to their question, they really should just go to a Hillary rally and ask her.

    March 31, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Interesting

    Why does she get to have it both ways?

    Like her mother, she wants the good part of their legacy, while denying the negative.

    She is running like a 24/7 tv ad for her mother, and that is an unfair advantage for some one who already has so m any advantage in the race.

    It's just wrong.

    March 31, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. Vikki in Northern Illinois

    I feel sorry for Chelsea. She has 2 overbearing and dishonest parents to try to defend on a constant basis.

    March 31, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. Go Home

    Good, the reporters should start asking questions as well. She should get off the campaign trail if she doesn't want to take questions.

    March 31, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. T.J.

    If you are on thestmp for a candidate all is fair game of course she is only 28 yrs old and just a kid who we shouldn't ask adult questions of!!!

    March 31, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  9. Angelene

    They need to prompt her on how to answer this question. She is the daughter of the former president that did have this scandal follow him and his family, and it is fair to ask, Bill will be living in the White House again as first man, therefore it is revelant.

    Moreover, I agree the the statement the person made about why they asked the question. As Americans it seems we have forgotten, so many other politicans careers were ruin and they will never be in politics again, why not Bill? He should never be allowed in any capacity in the White House. Bill is Hillary's choice she was not born with him, so as she made it clear that Obama chose his pastor, so has she choosen Bill Clinton, why not divorce him?

    Double standard I guess, it always has been for the Clintons

    March 31, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. zina

    The student has a point when defining the president as "chief citizen". It's unfortunate that Chelsea has to field these questions, but she has been put on the campaign trail by the Clinton staff, so it seems fair that the taboo situation creation by the former president is fair game.

    March 31, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. Linda

    Why should a child have to answer for his/her parents personal life? How can people be so insensitive? There was a lot of good done during the first Clinton administration. Chelsea was only a child at the time. Give her a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 31, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. Bison (Anchorage)

    I think it is in poor taste to ask a young woman about her father's sexual relationship with an intern. However, the students have a point, it is relevant to the political discussion, as many people believe that the president should have a certain moral standard. What I don't understand is why the Clinton's put their daughter in this position. If she is speaking on behalf of her Mother, she is going to be asked some difficult questions. All in all, it just seems like a poor judgment on the Clinton's part.

    March 31, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  13. James in New Orleans

    Chelsea Clinton is 28 years old now, and if she want's to play with the big kids, then she needs to grow up and get out of this (I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I) attitude. It is the public's business what goes on in the White House. Chelsea, you are not eight years old anymore. This was your second chance to show good character and like your parents, you failed also. Transparency is not a Clinton trait no matter what generation they are from.

    March 31, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. Michael

    Not a fan or supporter of the Clintons but the mistakes of 1998 should be left between husband, mistress, and wife. Chelsea shouldn't have to answer any questions regarding Bill's affair. Once was enough and I hope this doesn't become a trend.

    Hillary still sucks.

    March 31, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. fish

    She is just the daughter of her mother, sticking to what she said before, even though it was the wrong thing to say in the first place.
    I see this situation should have been a great opportunity for her to reflect on Hilary's strength instead of arguing back the questioners.
    Chelsea; if you realize kid; you are pushing away supporters.

    March 31, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  16. JERRY


    March 31, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  17. rick

    Just keep avoiding the question , I am sure people will stop asking.

    ha ha. .

    March 31, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. Robert Wiseman

    I have to agree with Chelsea Clinton not wanting to talk about this as part of this campaign. From her point of view and Hillary Clinton's point of view this is an intense personal matter that caused a great deal of pain at the time. If these questioners want to talk about the political impact of Lewinsky on Bill Clinton, then they should have the courage to go talk to him about it. It is totally improper to question the daughter, who is after all, out supporting her mother.

    March 31, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Flippingchick

    Chelsea, get a clue. What your dad did IS the public's business. Had he done what he did in his bedroom or a motel, that is one thing. But he used a respected office of the United States, the Oval Office, and disrespected it and all of America. How can you be shocked that people care about this? Seems to me that he was impeached for this offense.

    March 31, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  20. Mary

    To Chelsea & Hillary,
    Chelsea, your are an adult and have chosen to help your mother with her campaign, so all questions are fair. You may not think it appropriate about your fathers' affair, but he was president at the time and that is fair game. Your mothers' decision to "stand by her man" is her decision, however, it does affect how many people feel. Bill Clinton just plain lied over and over again while in the white house. I have no respect for his lies – those were lies, not mis-statements. If you are going to campaign for your mom, you need to accept all the criticism that comes with the territory.

    March 31, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  21. Politically Speaking

    No one cares. Hillary Clinton is the one running for office. I'm not concerned with Bill Clinton's prior infidelities during this election.

    Obama '08

    March 31, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. Wilson

    This is a legitimate question and Chelsea Clinton does her family a great disservice in brushing off people the way she is doing.

    Some one ought to bring up this question with Bill also as he traverses the country for HRC.

    March 31, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  23. Grif

    Maybe they also spy on their own Parents,
    Personal and Private Lives. The Problem Child? Is not Chelsea.

    March 31, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. TT

    If Chelsea doesn't want to be asked tough questions, then she shoudn't be a surrogate to her mother. She's almost THIRTY YEARS OLD and cannot even respond with grace. She acts like she's in her sweet sixteen. Give me a break!

    March 31, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  25. Bill Brown

    Can somebody tell me who really cares about Chelsea Clinton's campaigning? What is she doing, getting ready to run when Mom steps down in eight years?

    Oh, I forgot – that plan has kind of been blown to bits....

    March 31, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
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