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. Brace Yourself For More Scandals

    Wolf, I know you support Hillary, but is this news? Bill Clinton's romp with Monica is a part of the dirty history that the Clintons brought to the White House. We don't need to repeat the awful scandalous administration from the past.

    March 25, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. dcdude

    Do the Clintons really think the Lewinsky affair will be off limits to the Republicans should Hillary get the election? They are chomping at the bit to relive that whole scandal.

    March 25, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. tomdavie

    Good for chelsea. This is more dirty politics from the Obama campaign.

    Obama is unelectable.

    March 25, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. TC

    She should have just said "No" and it is our business now...

    March 25, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. Ann

    Lets wait for the Obamabots to cry foul and say Chelsea is a wimp for not answering. Perhaps it is implying some veiled criticism to Obama's patriotism?

    That's how this race goes now...

    March 25, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. Sam

    Not a Clinton supporter, but Chelsea was right to say that .

    March 25, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. TROY


    March 25, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. Dr Charles

    Lewinsky is not an Issue. If Wright is an issue for Obama so is Jesse jackson for Clintons : O'Reilly calls Jesse Jackson a race-baiter. Jesse Jackson was personally called into white house to minister to the first family.

    Both are non-issues, but, for hate mongers both are issues.

    March 25, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. Don, Fl

    Good for you Chelsea. My god how low can you Obama people go? UNBELIVEABLE

    March 25, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Carlos, NY

    I am not a Clinton supporter but that question was totally out of line to ask their child. Very disrespectful.

    March 25, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  11. McCain Clinton 08

    hehehe Hilldog!!

    March 25, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. Amanda

    Yeah, this does not shock me. So Chelsea Clinton can be arrogant and dismissive of her family and friends' history, but when it comes to Barack Obama's affiliates we should speak loud and clear? What an ugly way to handle the situation.

    Now I am convinced, 100% that Bill Richardson is right about the Clinton campaign and I officially refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton in ANY circumstance.

    If Hillary Clinton's campaign wants to throw stones, perhaps she shouldn't live in a house where her own husband was potentially up for presidential impeachment after his very public lies to the American people about his inproprieties in the Oval Office! Yet, hush hush, this is private.

    Well, maybe she should avoid making such casting comments as "he would not have been my pastor," and remember how fine a line she walks on that memory of who "wouldn't have been" many peoples' husband.

    Wake up, Hillary, you are not God and you are not the President.

    March 25, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  13. roy CA

    well, actually chelsea it is the tax payers business when the dirty deed was done on government time and property paid with taxpayers monies. so you can't have it both ways. campaign for mommy votes but wont answer a potential voters question who most likely has paid taxes.

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

    One must feel sorry for this young lady having to defend the sordid reputations of her parents. Still, the question is fair game because it relates to character and whether one should have the chance to run the greatest nation on earth when she can't even keep her husband in check two doors down.

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

    if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. or in your case get out of the white house. soon chelsea will be running for President. She was, after all, out dodging shots with her mom in Bosnia. Now she is dodging questions.
    I just don't trust these Clintons..........

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

    I am an Obama supporter but that is completely inappropriate. Respect Chelsea for what she is doing for her mother and leave the dirty politics to the candidates

    March 25, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. zak

    that was a legitimate question by an audience member. Instead of answering that question like a mature person, she resorted to a rude response. How many times have the Clinton campaign and others tried to smear Barrack Obama? Everytime he responds in a mature responsible fashion without resorting to "its not your business" child-like replies.

    This is the reason why Obama is going to get the Democratic nomination and the Clintons will continue to cry foul every time someone asks them a legitimate question. The Clinton's should learn from Obama and understand how to turn negativity into a positive.

    March 25, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. Kate

    Good for you, Chelsea. What kind of nitwit asks a question like that of you, anyway? Congrats on your ability to be true and gracious.

    March 25, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. Slappaho

    another Clinton in least Obama confronted the questions at hand....some of us did not like the answer but we knew where he stood at the end of the day......Obama is racist if you are looking for an excuse not to vote for him......who goes to church every sunday.......not even the pastor.
    OOOOOOOOOObama 08

    March 25, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. Ratgurl

    Chelsea, the short answer would have been "yes".

    March 25, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  21. deb

    Good for you, Chelsea! I can't believe the gall of some people. First of all, to even ask such a question of the daughter is just plain mean but the question doesn't even make sense. How could something Hillary's HUSBAND did damage HER reputation!?? SHE didn't cheat, he did! Sheesh! If anything, it shows that she is capable of FORGIVING someone, a good quality to have. Contrary to what too many Clinton haters think, she does have a heart! And his cheating doesn't even begin to compare with the horrible things the current administration has done. They impeach Clinton for something probably 99% of the politians do everyday and yet no one has the nerve to impeach Bush! It's just crazy!

    March 25, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  22. Jon

    Can I just say that I think Chelsea's answer stunk. It was arrogant and dismissive, and once again illustrates the Clinton's insular bubble world-view.

    Personally, I think it's worth hearing Chelsea's thoughts on the Monica Lewinski scandal. How has it affected her? How has it affected her family? Have they grown from it? Is it still bitter?

    Anyway, we need to remember the real issue surrounding Monica-gate. It wasn't that Bill cheated on his wife, it was that he lied under oath and was caught red-handed. The Clintons have a reputation for stretching the truth.

    March 25, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. Pat Va

    If one is running for a public office...ALL questions are fair. If not, then one should re-consider running for that office. That applies to the Clintons, too!!! CASE CLOSED!!!!

    March 25, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  24. John P

    I saw Chelsea answering questions at another University and I was very unimpressed her. Her parents are very smart, successful and astute people so I was hoping Chelsea would be the same, not even close. The answers she gave were pat and could have been given by any low level staffer manning the phones.

    Someone needs to tell Chelsea that her mother is running for Presidents so anything to do with her mother's reputation is the business of the American public.

    March 25, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. Very Concerned American

    That was such a beautiful sound to my ears.
    She hit the nail on the head.
    You go girl.

    March 25, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
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