March 26th, 2008
08:50 AM ET
11 years ago

Chelsea Clinton dismisses Lewinsky question


Watch Chelsea Clinton field a question about Monica Lewinsky.

(CNN) - Chelsea Clinton has fielded a lot of questions as she campaigns for her mother's presidential bid, but on Tuesday the former first daughter faced a particularly awkward query for the first time.

Campaigning at Butler University in Indianapolis, an audience member asked the 28 year-old whether the Monica Lewinsky scandal had damaged her mother's reputation.

"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," Clinton responded, appearing a bit surprised by the question. The crowd immediately cheered loudly at the response.

It was supposed to be the last question of the event, but Chelsea Clinton decided to take one more, saying, "I don't think that should be the last question."

Though she has faced the glare of public life since she was a girl, Chelsea Clinton has contended with renewed press coverage after taking on a more prominent role in her mother's campaign earlier this year.

The Monica Lewinsky scandal made a brief return to the news last week, when newly-released White House schedules indicated Hillary Clinton was likely in the White House during at least 6 reported instances of encounters between her husband and the former White House intern.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Chelsea Clinton • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. No Hillary

    Who cares what her daughter says. Not even Hillary herself is that relevant anymore.

    March 25, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  2. NObama!

    BOO! Terrible question.

    How disrespectful is that?

    Is anyone asking Obama's kids about his ties to Rezko or his ever-close pastor, Jeremiah Wright?

    How do the Anti-Hillary's live with themselves? THEY will stop at nothing to degrade her and her family.

    Hasn't Hillary endured enough?

    She's strong..and a fighter.. the likes of which this country has not seen in quite some time.

    March 25, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. Benjamin

    That's the disgusting tactics of the Obama campaign and his followers. They aren't winning by debating issues, or presenting solutions, but by destroying Clinton in the most indecent manners.

    March 25, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. Means and Ends

    I'm amazed that she held firm in the face of the sniper fire and oncoming Bosnian special forces to answer that question so well. She must be fit to be commander in chief.

    March 25, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  5. steve ross

    i posted my responce here because you closed the one i needed

    March 25, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  6. frank_steve

    Obama supporters shouting Obama! Obama! in Hillary campaign in Hawaii - UNPLANNED
    Obama supporter shouting Obama! Obama! in a Bill talk, I guess in midwest – UNPLANNED
    This stupid zero conscience listener asking Chelsea abt Monica in Indianapolis – UNPLANNED

    YARRIGHT-- The Obama clan did not plant any of these jerks..
    get over it dude..

    HILLARY / EDWRADS '08 or HILLARY / Bloomberg '08
    Nothing less.. for my US

    March 25, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. For Obama

    She is as cold, and disrespectful as her mother. Go figure! Could have answered in a much more friendlier tactful manner like Obama would have. But you learn from who rasies you!

    March 25, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. Marie

    I agree with S.Shay - Chelsea's response lacked in grace. Besides, I didn't think Chelsea talked to the press so why is she answering questions in the first place?

    Not that I particularly care about the answer nor do I particularly care to drag Lewinsky into this election. But the Clintons should have known that it would be brought into this matter.

    IMHO, Clinton DID damage her reputation by sticking with Bill - personally, I wouldn't have stayed with him and so it makes me question Hillary's integrity and purpose for staying with him. I think she'd have had a stronger position if she'd dumped him.

    March 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  9. tjb

    Great done, Chelsea!
    It' really nobody's business.
    And in general – that's what Bill had to tell to Ken Starr's people – non of your business!
    Such deals should be only between wife and husband and nobody else.
    America has to start being more civilized country like european where private life of goverment people do not influence on their electibility.
    This Monica Lewinski scandal made America a laughstock of the whole world.
    Bravo, Chelsea!

    March 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. enoch needles

    way to dodge the snipers, chelsea.

    well, if there had actually been snipers.

    March 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. Rosa

    I am sick and tire of listening the same things over and over.If Clinton did a small mistake you make it bigger and bigger.You see I come from a country where I was in the middle of war and I can not recall every detail about being in the middle of the fire where helicopters and bullets were everywhere, and only my child could say after so many years what really happened.What I am trying to say is:it does not matter if this or that is true,what it really matter she was there.I was so happy to see some support from people that came from other countries to be in dangerous places like my country.You Americans do not have any idea of being in times of war.You haven't suffer those horrendous moments where your own children would die as I did.So when I saw white color skin people risquing their own lives I was really greatful that they where with us.Please talk about deep problems and not about soap operas of our politicians.Get real and talk about real solution for the nation.

    March 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  12. Jonathan Swift

    Give Chelsea a break here. She misspoke. The correct answer would have been something to the effect of "That is really so hard to tell, and was a long time ago." Why did she misspeak? Because she was not prepared for this question. It had not occurred to her,or at least she didn't think she needed an answer. Face it this is the mind set of the Clinton campaign- question us, shame on you; don't go along with our lies, shame on you. Well if I support you, shame on me.

    March 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. James

    If she didn't want to answer it, she could have been more polite and said, "I'd prefer not to answer." But if she's going to be a surrogate for the candidate, campaigning away, she has to have some sort of serious adult response to any question. She can't just hide behind the shield of protection that she had when she was first daughter as a legal minor.

    March 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  14. EFM

    The question was not appropriate; it was trashy. A daughter should not be asked about her father's cheating on her mother. Period. Why do you people enjoy digging in other people's garbage? I'm sure you've got your own.

    March 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. deb

    Sheesh! I just can't get over all the HATE that the Obama people spew against Hillary. Don't any of you notice how the pro Hillary people aren't nearly as angry? Do all of you go to the same church!? It sure seems like it. The media needs to quit being so biased against Hillary also! It's all so unfair. The Obama camp has bashed Hillary's camp so much more than the other way around it's pathetic and yet Hillary is viewed as some "evil" person. Like I said earlier, it's crazy!

    March 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  16. Chad

    Similar to another distasteful politician, she could have just said, "So!" Or she could have emulated her mother and embellished about how she has to incresingly "dodge" these sorts of valid questions. Another great politician in the making - just deflect answering what the public has a right to know, in a chastising way. A clone!

    March 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  17. Experience?

    Maybe we need to hand Chelsea a pillow and make sure shes comfortable.

    The question though Wasn't if she approved or denouce what her dad did. the question was "An audience member asked the 28 year-old whether the Monica Lewinsky scandal had damaged her mother's reputation." Why can't she respond to that question? All she needed to say was "No, she handled the situation better than anyone could anticpate."

    SHE WASN"T ASKED "what do you think about the scandel" all she was asked was "does it hurt her reputation?" Stop babying her shes 28. Crying out loud she IS NOT A CHILD stop saying she is....

    March 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  18. Paul

    Even I think that question was out of line.

    March 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  19. Lydia

    That question was out of line.

    March 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  20. S Estill

    Pathetic response. She's a GROWN woman, not a child. After it coming up again, she should have been prepared with an answer. And, YES Chelsea what ANY Presidential candidate has EVER done is my business and every other citizens business. We are being asked to trust one of these candidates with our country, our money, and our future. It's all relevent.

    March 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  21. Greg

    They learn early!

    March 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. Joan

    It was not Hillary Clinton who today fed fuel to the fire of the "pastor/race" discussion; it is the media and more particularly talk shows such as yours where in your need to have something to talk about non-stop for hours on end that has caused the Democratic conflagration that may cause the Democrats to lose in the November election.

    Chelsea was right, Wolf. It's none of our business...just as it is none of our business where Hillary or Obama attend church. Why isn't anyone talking about Hillary's affiliation with The Family in Washington, D. C.? It seems to me that is much more relevant politically than Obama's with a church he attended occasionally.

    March 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Alice

    Good for Chelsea. What a position to put a daughter to have to defend such dirtbag parents. She deserves do we.

    March 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. dddundalk

    I don't think she was so much unprepared as insulted. Justifiably so.
    Just the mention of the name MONICA LEWINSKY makes my stomach turn. I'm really glad the audience was behind Chelsea on this one.

    March 25, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |

    Why is it that how her mother handled a widely publicized situation that was a personal pain... has ANYTHING to do with the presidency?

    I would personally never stay with a cheater.. but who are WE TO JUDGE?

    I think that shows alot about her moral character.

    Its not like she attended Sunday sermons in a hatred-inciting church!

    March 25, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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