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. Jaylie


    Don't make me make a YouTube video. I got my sheet & mascara ready. . .

    March 25, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  2. Edgar

    Good for you Chelsea! I admire your for standing up against any below the belt campaign tactics that the other camp is initiating.

    I cannot believe we are focusing on these trivial issues whereas we need to focus on the economy & healthcare, etc. Move on people!

    Go for HILLARY!

    March 25, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Robbie Williamson

    Clinton argues that Obama shows poor judgement by forgiving the mistakes of his pastor and continuing to attend his church for 20+ years. How does this differ from her forgiving the extra-marital affairs of her husband, and continuing to stay in her marriage?

    March 25, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. mary

    Good for Chelsea, she handled the question beautifully! Anyways, what does Monica have to do with this election? Obama's supporters are getting desperate.

    March 25, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. Shannon

    probably a sleazy Obama supporter, they have no decency!

    March 25, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Marilyn

    I was wondering when this issue would come up. It's the elephant in the room. Hilary states she would have abandoned Reverend Wright. I would have abandoned Bill Clinton if he were my husband and cheated on me repeatedly and lied about it.

    March 25, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. John

    I think a better response would have been "I prefer to not respond to that question" and then take another question but good for her for not responding.

    March 25, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. JP

    Hey Jack I hear someone asked Chelsea about Monica, and in true royalistic Clinton style she tells the questioner its not their besiness.Sorry to be the one to braked it to poor Princess Chelsea that it was her Farther who made it the peoples besiness by spening the peoples hard earned tax money to get him to Stop lying about it in the frist place.PS: I wounder could Micheal Jackson be her real Farther they kind of look a like.

    March 25, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. SJ Thornton

    Too bad her mother won't drop out of the race.

    March 25, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Michael

    Chelsea Clinton has the only shred of decency in the entire Clinton family. SHe should just tell her mom and dad "Keep me out of it."

    I don't blame the student for asking. Free speech works both ways.

    March 25, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Rich in Seattle

    It became our business when he used the Oval office for his own personal love nest. Hillary is talking to leadership and integrity, this goes towards character. Bottom line, this is our business and if they don't like it then don't run for President.

    March 25, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. AK

    Chelsea's response was off the mark, and dismissive. Her mother's reputation is important to voters. The possible potential voter did not ask for details on the Lewinsky scandal, but simply whether it affected Mrs. Clinton's reputation. If I were Chelsea, the diplomatic and seemingly appropriate answer would be "I am sure it impacted her reputation in some way, however, I cannot speak to the level or type of impact. Regarding the scandal itself, please be clear I won't address any details related to it. Thank you."

    March 25, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. ArizonaSon

    I support Obama( and hate BILLARY) BUT THAT QUESTION WAS WRONG.

    March 25, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. Teresa

    Take a Break Chelsa, put down the broom and step away from the cauldron. Have some prunes and an enema.

    March 25, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. Good Job!

    Good for Chelsea! That was not an appropriate question to be asked by the student.

    March 25, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. Anne

    Wow, go Chelsea. I think she has been impressive through this campaign.

    March 25, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. Scott

    LOL....she didn't answer the question.

    March 25, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. Ki-Jana Carter

    And in true Clinton form, of course she didn't answer the question.......

    March 25, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  19. @americans

    that's a honest question Chelsea. but typical of the Clintons, they will never be STRAIGHT with the American people...always trying to lie and distort the facts to their political advantage!


    GO OBAMA!!!!

    March 25, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  20. Darren P

    How is this not their business?! It's a matter of public record, it has an impact on Bill's reputation, and the entire scandal ended in impeachment for perjury. This is a valid question that deserves a better answer than that. When you are up for a position in public life, your life becomes public.

    March 25, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. PITA

    This question was well handled by Chelsea. Monica Lewinsky's behavior is no reflection on Hillary's reputation to suggest that it is shows a mean spirited mentality and a lack of life experience. After all, Monica knew she was chasing a married man.
    Must have been one of Obama's followers in the crowd spreading the "word".

    March 25, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. Elisabeth

    I just love Chelsea – great answer of a stupid question 🙂
    From Hillary-supperter from Denmark

    March 25, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  23. Alessandra

    I was present at Chelsea's campaign stop at Butler University today, and I have to say that Chelsea did an impeccable job speaking on her mother's behalf and answering questions from the audience. As an alumnus of Butler, I can say with certainty that this question regarding the Lewinsky scandal posed by a Butler student does not represent the Butler student community as a whole.

    March 25, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  24. AllAmericankid, Marietta, GA

    she's as mean as Hillary......They only take questions they are comfortable with.

    March 25, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  25. Joan

    Why on earth would that damage Hillary Clinton's rep. She wasn't "smoking cigars".

    March 25, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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