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. Trinette

    I felt it was a perfectly legitimate question. After all if Hillary is asking us to elect her to lead the most powerful nation in the world then we can ask her about being why she forgave her husband. C'mon, who will she forgive in the future or pardon? If she let her cheating husband off so easily who else will she be letting off easy. It was a fair question.

    March 26, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. fred

    You go girl!!! Why don't you like my comments CNN???

    Talk about shock and awe.......If the comment is anything against Obama, then 9 times out of 10 you delete it...this is really sad. I have been a CNN viewer for over 15 years and to see how you do people on here, and the bias for Obama on the CNN news channel is totally amazing!!!

    March 26, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. Dave

    ha, it still strikes a nerve, obviously. Chelsea also shows she is certainly cut from the same cloth as her parents. no more Clinton/Bush rule/regime. they all need to go away (but they always manipulate behind the scenes).

    March 26, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Adam

    He could have asked the question differant if thats what he was trying to ask.

    March 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. A

    i meant White house is not a private place

    March 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. pbj

    Maybe the questioner should have asked Chelsea whether she would stay married to a serial adulterer who cheated on her innumerable times and what it says about the character of a woman who would put up with this type of emotional abuse and disrespect from her husband.

    March 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. Henry

    Are all the Clinton's unstable?

    March 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. AJ, IL

    I'm not a Hillary supporter, but the way the question was asked seemed to be a legitimate opportunity for Chelsea to talk about her mom's internal strength. At 27 Chelsea should have been able to articulate a thoughtful answer. For Chelsea to respond the way she did, just underscores that there is a lot of internal ill-will and anger towards her father.

    March 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  9. Amy

    It's typical for a Clinton to not answer a question and expect you to believe everything they say. Chelsea may think it's no one's business, but when her mother wants to be the leader of our country, we have every right in the world to know what her intentions are. A right wing conspiracy was Clinton's excuse for her husband cheating. That was her rational. I wonder if she used that same rational when she voted to send out troops to die in Iraq?

    March 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. Kayla

    I'm sorry chelsea, it didn't start out as any of our buisness, but your father made it our buisness. he was our president, and he lied to the american people about this. this is our buisness, sorry. besides, you should have been able to defend your mother a bit better, you could have dismissed the question along with bringing your mother up. poor job on chelsea clinton's part.. what did she honestly expect? that her fathers impeachment is just going to.. go away? just wait until the repubs start attacking her.

    March 26, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. Roberta, NC

    Right on, Chelsea!

    March 26, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. Ken

    The media and american people are such idiots. Do they understand that none of this has one thing to do with current political issues that will affect you and I. So ridiculous, no wonder the rest fo the world laughs at us.

    March 26, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  13. Fav

    Good Answer Chelsea!!

    March 26, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. SevSnape

    Ha! It was a Clintonite who asked the question! Now let's see what all you Clintonites will say! Let the hate begin (by Clintonites)!!!

    Obama '08!!!

    March 26, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Nando, Florida

    Like Hillary her supporters will turn on anyone that should some up why we need to turn the page on HILLARY/MCCAIN

    March 26, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  16. d

    Good for Chelsea is all I can say. That questioner, if her statement is true, should have confronted Hillary with such a question, not the daughter. Shame on that questioner.

    March 26, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. B. Gorman, New Orleans, LA

    Since Chelsea is now stumping for her mother, it only seems fair that she has to answer uncomfortable questions like this. She is a grown woman, no longer the little girl we saw in '92. If she has not found an answer to this question after a decade, then why should we listen?

    March 26, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Sue

    How is it "none of your business"? Isn't Hillarys reputation important if she is President ?

    March 26, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Tina

    She is her mother's daughter; absolutely rude, dismissive, and ultra secretive. I hate to say it, but when your mom writes a book and talks about the topic, its fair game. Get with the program or get off the trail.

    March 26, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. gary

    That away to go Chelsea. It isn't anyone's business,you said the right think. How would other people like their parents personal live's be brought up public constantly? You get your fighter from both of your parents, thats good. Dont let no one walk on you.HRC go all the way

    March 26, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. Sam

    She acted really inappropriate with her answer. You can see on the tape that the guy was just asking a question. If she has a problem answering questions that might be personal maybe she shouldnt be doing this stuff.

    March 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Maestroh

    Ever notice how the Clintons have a rehearsed 'you hurt me' for everything?

    March 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. Irma in North Carolina

    I think Chelesa needs to grow up. She wasnt very professionasl in handling this matter. She needs to have some lessons on how to handle it.

    March 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. maya

    Why oh why does the media stroke the flame?!!! Why have the questioner even on to be interviewed?! The MEDIA truly is the problem...

    March 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Angela Scott

    I think that was a very inappropiate question to ask a daughter about her mother and father. I wonder how the questioner would feel if asked a question like this about his mother and father.

    March 26, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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