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. Larry Buchas

    I'm one Obama supporter who applauds Chelsea for dishing that one back in the gutter. Good for her to take a legitimate question.

    March 25, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  2. Kiki

    Well done Chelsea.
    We should askObama about his dirty deals with Rezko, his support of the racist Wright and the absence of saubstance. Obama will be smashed by the republicans if he becomes a candidate. remember McGovern. Dukakis, Kerry, Mondale, Ted Kennedy (that divided the party opposing t\President Carter) and all those supported by the extreme liberals that now support Obama.
    Obama is non-electable in a general elction and will loose just like his predecesors.
    The Clintons are the only winners in the democratic party for a long time..
    Democrats for McCain is a great option for us. Already started in Florida....

    March 25, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. 2012

    I think all you idiot Bacraporama supporters are just jealous 'cause Bill got something that YOU didn't!!

    March 25, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. Julie

    I wish one of these candidates would open their eyes to the real issue. Which is FUEL! My husband and I both drive for a living I am a school bus driver and he is an over the road driver/owner operator. We both work very hard for what we have. I work full time from 6am til 5:15 pm working a split sift, and he workks 70 + hours a week not including doing his own maintanance on his truck on his day off. Well Senator McCain we are about to loose everything we have because of one commodity FUEL! Don't tell me I am frivolous and don't deserve a break! We will soon be one of those people that files for brankrupcy Because! we ARE both working. He is quickly going broke and can't afford his repairs and soon the school districts will not be able to afford transportation in our school district because of all the forcloseures. Wake up America its all about the FUEL!!!

    March 25, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  5. Leah DiMarco, TX

    Chelsea is NOT a child, she is almost 30 years old.
    If she is going on the campaign trial then ALL questions are fair.

    Hillary stayed with Bill after ALL of his affairs so her political star could rise. Now she LIES about Bosnia, she has lied about the Peter Paul vs. Clintons lawsuit currently in the California court system, she has lied many times before google and read them for yourselves. Where are the Clinton tax returns? Where are the Clinton ear-marks and library donor lists? Wake up America – vote Obama '08

    Come on CNN and post this one!

    March 25, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. kathleen

    Well, Chelsea, what do you think?
    Mother did not leave because she was first lady?with money,
    power, sweet life. Why leave that?Just blame "the other woman"
    instead. Remember, Hillary it took TWO? It wasn't all the young
    girls fault. I am surprised Monica didn't have to wear the letter "A'
    on her back because of your furry and wrath.


    March 25, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. Ryan

    She is 28 and the Monica Lewinsky scandal was almost 10 years ago. While I do not believe it should be a big topic in the election, I do not understand why Chelsea would rudely turn down the question like that. It was a scandal that made the US look bad in the global eye and it should be addressed. Chelsea could've easily answered the question in an appropriate way and even turned it into a positive.

    March 25, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  8. Jan

    Patriot: Obama is the candidate who has NOT resorted to nasty, everything but the kitchen sink tactics. Do not delude yourself.

    March 25, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  9. Elaine

    I agree that it's both rude and inappropriate to ask Chelsea this question, but why drag Obama into it?

    March 25, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  10. Dawn

    Chelsea seem like a wonderful young woman.

    However, she is campaigning for her mother for POTUS. The scandal referred to in the question was a public scandal of her father's. Her mother claims that presidency as part of her experience. It is a fair question.

    March 25, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. Dr Charles

    The question is not appropriate. However, what has McCain or obama got to do with it. GROW up people.

    March 25, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. A Proud and Free American

    Hillaery should not criticize Obama for staying at his church. She knew about her husbands many cheatings with different women and she chose to stay with him. Who has the better judgemnet here?

    March 25, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. Gil - California

    It is none of their business if you think the Blue Dress Special hurt mama's chance at President? Then I'd have to say that you think it did. Of course, you were there with Mama in Bosnia when she lied about the sniper fire so why didn't you remind her of that at the time instead of waiting for CBS to catch mama in a bald face lie. Your mama says she misspoke.....ok, a lie by any other name.

    What other experience has she misspoke about?
    The she wouldn't have had Wright as a pastor? Guess that isn't a big deal since Carville believes your mama to be Jesus Christ.

    March 25, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  14. Charlene

    Wow, what a educated answer for a 28 year old to be in the public eye campaiging for her mother and such a rude answer!! It just show that she has no self confidence and doesn't have the ability to answer without affending other. Telling someone; " It's none of your business" is such a "bright" answer!!!! After all, they need to win votes and maybe
    leaving Chelsea at home would be better than having her on the trail. She will do more harm by her answers than any good. I though that was totally out of line on her part and she would of been better off saying; "no" it didn't hurt her Mother's repupation. After Hillary wasn't there so that would of been a easy question to answer. Wow, what a answer!!! I was truly suprise in a negatvie way....not good choice of words.

    March 25, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. Mark Diplomat

    Brave girl.

    Fortunately, we will never need to have the Obama children defend their parents in this fashion. Good people of faith and belief.

    Had the Clintons adopted some type of moral fiber, character, and belief system, we would never have had the Monica Lewinsky-gate affair.

    Let's stand up for a candidate who addresses race and faith in a manner which Americans will and need to appreciate. We are diverse, we are ethnic, we need not be divided – and Obama is trying to raise our heads and our issues to the forefront in this election. Give him the chance.

    March 25, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  16. mother too

    Chelsea answered correctly, it is no one's business. It is cruel, inconsiderate to ask a child about parent's adultery, no matter what is the age of the daughter, son.
    It is highly unethical to ask anyone anyway.

    People just like to stick their noses in other's private life. How uncool!

    It is better to think about the world, the economy, education, medical insurance, global warming, etc etc. These are Important issues. Not someone's adultery.

    March 25, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. Ma & Pa Clinton

    Well, I think Ma and Pa Clinton would be proud. Chelsea deflected that question like Hillary deflected those Bosnia bullets. I got to hand it to Chelsea, the apple doesn't fall far from the infested tree.

    March 25, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. OlvrWhit

    Great for Chelsea. It was not that person's business and its really not any of ours. If you think it is, then lets discuss all our personel lives..

    Robbie Williamson. Its none of your business why she made that decision. The last time I checked my vows it was for better or worse. How about give credit to the women for working through a tough period in her personel life that many here think its their business.

    Great Chelsea. Honest and open.

    March 25, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. Nick Mann

    Seems like a good question since Hillary's reaction to Bill's lieing under oathe in a civil trial and inappropriate behavior set the woman's movement back about two decades.

    March 25, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. Joe

    Seems like a fair question to me. You're in public life now and on a campaign - everything is fair game! No need to be rude about it; it was an honest question. Just answer with a simple "no".

    (Lord knows that, as always, this response will "await moderation" indefinitely, while vulgar responses like those from YuriGod will remain)

    March 25, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. mary

    If you don't want answered question why are you running for your Mom. Your are not a kid... what's wrong with you... My nieces are younger ,but more mature than you...

    March 25, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  22. Til

    Chelsea blew her answer. She should have told the questioner that she was proud of how her mother handled a difficult situation. Instead, she falls back on the "my feelings are hurt" excuse.
    Politics are tough. Don't send the little girl on the campaign trail if she can't handle the pressure.

    March 25, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  23. Kandice

    It is interesting that on at least 6 instances, Hilary was in the White House while her husband was having an affair. If she couldn't keep up with her husband, what makes her think that she can keep up with Al-Qaeda in another country. Hmmm, how can she comment on who Obama chose to be his pastor when she chose a womanizer to be her husband?

    March 25, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. Mia, ND

    Chelsea doesn't want to answer ANY questions, she just wants you to vote for her mom, so she can have a White House wedding.

    Just say no to her and her mom–and Chelsea, voting IS our business.

    Obama 08

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

    I can't belive all of the non-sense that all of the Obama people are writing such ugly remarks. All of you stink, and you know what this is non of our business. Now, do you think that all of the presidents have been faithful to their wives? Come on!!!!! In a way I believe that you write this way, because: 1- you have experienced that or 2- are full of envy, because Chelasea is a very sophisticated young lady.......

    Now, I am not going to say anything against OBAMA, because that is not my job- to judge him. There is a GOD up there and he knows EVERYTHING about us.

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