March 26th, 2008
01:25 PM ET
11 years ago

Lewinsky questioner surprised with Chelsea's response

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The student who questioned Chelsea Clinton on the Monica Lewinsky scandal said he meant no harm."](CNN) - The college student who appeared to upset Chelsea Clinton with a question on the Monica Lewinsky scandal said Wednesday he was merely giving the former first daughter an opportunity to show how strong her mother is.

Evan Strange, a Butler University student, told CBS he is a supporter of Hillary Clinton, and meant no harm with his question about the infamous White House scandal.

"Surprisingly, I am a supporter of Hillary, I love Hillary. But when I talk to my friends, one of their constant questions to me is, 'What makes her such a strong leader?', and they always bring up that scandal," Strange said in an appearance on the CBS Early Show.

"It’s not something I asked to cause trouble, it was to show those people what makes Hillary so strong, and was an opportunity for Chelsea to show all the doubters how strong Hillary is," he added.

At an event on Butler's campus Tuesday afternoon, Strange asked if the scandal had damaged Hillary Clinton's reputation. (Watch Chelsea's reaction)

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 crowd immediately cheered loudly at Chelsea's response, but Strange said Wednesday he was surprised with the answer.

"I can see where she'd get a little defensive because of the question, and just hearing Lewinsky over and over again I can see why she'd react that way, but I would liked to have heard her say something about her record, or something like that, instead of just dismissing the question," he said.

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.

Related: Evan Strange says he was shocked by Chelsea's reponse

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Chelsea Clinton • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Shawn - GA

    Ian, Canton, OH said it perfectly.

    She never heard the question.... "that is none of your business" is not even close to answering "whether the Monica Lewinsky scandal had damaged her mother's reputation."

    Fiirst she would not answer questions, now she answering them very rude.... what is up with this woman?

    March 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Kathy

    If that's the best excuse for inappropriate behavior and the best thinking he can do, I am surprised he is managing to stay in college. What a crock.

    March 26, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. carmen

    The apple does not fall far from the tree. And please people, she is a 28 year old woman, not some naive little girl. I hope someone asks her about her mother lying too.

    Obama should tell the hippocrite Clintonites that his faith and where he worships is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS.

    March 26, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. Concerned Canadian

    And Obama proclaims to be the self-appointed expert on the racial divide in America...he's perfect..can't call him racist or bigot but he has no qualms calling someone else a bigot or racist. Pretty arrogant , wouldn't you say.

    Won't be the President elect anyway..I'll bet anyone dollars to donuts that ain't gonna happen.

    March 26, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. marge

    Since there were many,many scandals in the Clinton WH,Chelsea sohuld have known questions like this would arise.
    If she doesn't want to address these issues she should go home!!!!
    NO question is off limits,and IT is everybody's business. He was an elected official having sex in the oval office!

    March 26, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. L. Santos

    I too found her response to be a bit disappointing, furthermore I guess it does take a certain amount of strength or better yet tactic to stay by the side of a man who betrayed you, for her own agenda as well as his. I'm not a Hillary supporter, in fact, she bores me, and truly makes women all over look bad.

    March 26, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. N.P

    How would Bill and Monica's relations effect Hillary's reputation anyway? If anyone, it would affect Bill's. This election isn't about Bill

    March 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. Pam

    Way to go, Chelsea! A private family is just that! We as the public do not need to know everything that goes on with your families private life.
    Let's stick to the Politics and why we should vote for our desired candidate.

    March 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Peter Paul video

    Well said !
    I hope your mother will mind her business when it comes to

    Rev.Wright too, becuase it is non of her business to question

    Obama's decision not the reject the man , but the man's negative


    March 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Sherri

    Tough question, bad answer, if you're going to campaign, deal with it and answer the question.

    I have a question.
    So Hillary wouldn't stay with a pastor who made a few off the cuff remarks, but you will stay with your husband who had several extramarital affairs...

    I hope the American people can see through this.

    March 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. Ida

    Isn't it funny that when Clinton supporters have no mud left to throw they resort to one of two things; 1) Shame on you anybody; 2) the pastor again. Just like their candidate. hahahah hahaha

    March 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Ryan

    Yesterday when I commented I said that it seemed like an opportunity for Chelsea to turn the question around into a positive, and look, even the person who asked it meant it to be that way. People need to stop treating her like a little kid. She was pretty old when it happened and 28 now. She is old enough to answer these questions and it is so far in her past anyway that it shouldn't be that sensitive of a topic.

    March 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. Patrick Guthrie

    I'm surprised they didn't have some sort of response ready for her about this. If you guys really think that John McCain is going to stay away from all the nasty history of the Clintons, then you're very mistaken. This is what I'm finding about Hillary Clinton in this election. She's actually turning out to be a very bad politician. But I guess you don't have to be good when you marry into the government.

    March 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Tom

    I think for Chealsea, the Lewinski thing was first and always a personal event (a sad one for her), not a story. It just happened to be in the news, but that doesn't make it any less personal. I think the question was rude, and she has every right to not discuss it in public at all.

    March 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. Leslee

    I don't feel bad for Chelsea! Answer the question or don't bother going to college campuses to "help" your mom!

    My dad did the same thing to his family that Bill did to Hillary and Chelsea, only we weren't famous, and my mom didn't have anything political to gain by staying with him. It's not Hillary's fault that Bill was a womanizer. She can't be blamed for his mistakes. All these right wingers think that marriage is permanent and you stay with someone no matter what – yet they bash Hillary for her decisions regarding her family?

    I support Obama more right now, but, should Hillary be in the running instead of Barack Obama, I would support her. I don't think hers and Bill's relationship should matter in this election, but, I also don't think this question was out of line. Chelsea's combative response, however, was out of line.

    March 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Jackson

    Hillary is trying to sabotage the Democratic ticket this year so that she can run again in 4 years. It's all about her and not at all about us.

    March 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Amy in Iowa

    Is everyone so dense as to believe this? It is obviously another Clinton plant in the audience. It was meant to keep the Clinton name in the news cycle and play again on the sympathy vote from women. I am a woman I won't be fooled. Not this time.

    March 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Deborah

    Down with the lying Clinton's

    Chelsea is just like her lying parents

    March 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. mary

    Maybe Evan Strange could ask Obama's children how they like going to a church that speaks anti-American.

    March 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Polly

    Chelsea really didn't handle the question with much grace. All her response accomplished was to put the Lewinsky scandal back in the news, something that Clinton does not need.

    If Hillary does get the nomination, the same question is going to be asked by the Republicans. And if Chelsea is going to campaign for her mother, she needs to deal with these sort of questions and that indignation is not going to work anymore. It's time to stop protecting Chelsea, she's 28 years old now and it is her choice to be in the spotlight.

    March 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. Hillary Supporter

    Chris in Columbus, read today's polls showing a greater percentage of Senator Clinton supporters will not support Obama. And if Obama supporters feel the same way, so be it.

    March 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. Marie

    I just love when people asked a stupid and disrespectful question like that and then try to back track and say "I'm a Hillary supporter" We all know he'll be voting for Obama. Good for you Ms.Chelsea, for your great answer !!!

    March 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. Glenn

    Why would either of you Clinton or Obama supporters call for any democratic voter to oppose voting for THE OTHER democratic candidate if the one you're supporting does not win. That is so senseless!

    This is also another reason why I feel it is in the best interest of the DNC to try to bring about a quicker resolve to this primary in order to begin fixing the divide amongst their party. Either way it goes, there is a lot of healing that will need to take place, less the party wishes to hand the election over to John McCain.

    March 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. Pam

    Way to go Chelsea! Obama will NEVER get my vote!!!!

    HILLARY '08 or I'll vote McCain!!

    March 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. wam

    To Mary...Obama's children are not in the spotlight and they are not university graduates, a suppposed adult and 28 years old!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
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