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. Chris

    Why doesn't CNN report on Hillary's ridiculous answer regarding her Bosnia trip??

    Go watch the video of her response about LYING to the American people. She cannot look at the camera...she looks down the ENTIRE time. Sure sign of lying.

    How cany ANYONE trust her???

    Obama 08

    March 26, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. Dave

    Chelsea is so very intelligent and hard working. Her response was DEAD ON RIGHT!
    Obama supporters you have divided the party. It is time for Hillary to start her own party and win in november. We don't need Obama supporters to win in november you need us A LOT MORE.

    March 26, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. An Aggie in Texas

    It was just a question...and why are we even listening to Chelsea, she is so privileged..what could she really know about the real world and what the average American is going through.

    March 26, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. This is a problem

    Give me a break. Did you even read the story?!?!? The woman who asked the question said she was a Hillary supporter. One of the reason I am not supporting Hillary is how her supporter respond to these blogs. You know not everything that is negative is a Obama and/ or his supporter fault. Chelsea is almost 30 years; not a child. Honestly, I am surprise this is the first time she was asked this quesiton. Personally, I thought it was a dumb question–yes, I was curious, but I would have never asked der daughter that.

    March 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |

    He should have known better to stick with the issues if he was indeed a Clinton supporter. This Monica thing is so tired!

    March 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Leo

    I don't support Hillary or any of the potential candidates for that matter. But I think that Chelsea made the proper statement. IT IS NONE OF OUR BUSINESS. People need to get a life when they make things like this their business.

    March 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. Christine

    What has the Monica issue to do with Hillary's run for the White House? I think Chelsea was on the ball and it is no one elses businnes at this point. Move on folks!

    March 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Tom

    I'm sorry but if you really watch the reply, it comes off about as spontaneous as her mother's "that's change you can xerox" answer in one of the debates. She knew sooner or later someone would bring it up and was prepared to be "shocked".

    March 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. owl

    Actually it is our business after all ......The mother is campaigning to be a leader of the free world......though it is a personal issue but it is also a public record.......she ..chelsea may not know how to answer the question or felt very embarrased by it ...but her mother can and should be asked this question ...which by the way no body has asked so far ...and I think it is legitimate question to ask ......after all it did happen !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. Meghan

    BOOHOO, poor Chelsea. If you can't stand the heat, get off the campaign trail. I'm sick of everyone treating her as though she is still 12.

    March 26, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |

    Good for Evan! keep asking her these questions, she can't keep living in a shell, he idiot dad was the culprit of the whole mess and took the job of being the president as a joke and orgy. Chelsea had nothing to do with it, but she needs to hear these things, she is a grown up and this will always be around as long as there is a Clinton around.

    Obama doesn't have anything like that to worry about, he is honest, he just needs to get rid of that idiot James wrong goof.

    March 26, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  12. Corey, Maryland

    I just find it funny that someone would think Hillary would be a strong leader in the first place!

    Obama Richardson 08!!

    March 26, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. Paul

    Chelsea will answer the question only when it becomes clear that Hillary needs another diversion away from another lie she gets caught in.

    The Clinton strategy: Avoid tough questions until you need a diversion.

    March 26, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Bella

    The Obama supporters need to change their silly slogan "Yes we can" They sound like the socialists with their slogans like Venceremos or Patria o Muerte Venceremos.

    March 26, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. Dee JAY in miami

    she should have just answered the question

    March 26, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. 1st state

    I think it was a valid question. We cannot forget that while in office, Bill repeatedly cheated on Hillary but she stayed with him why...HER PRESIDENCY. So if Chelsea cannot answer the tough questions she need to stop campaigning for her mother.

    March 26, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Dan , TX

    Seems like a non-issue to me. It was too personal a question to ask Chelsea. Kind of like watching a train wreck. Thanks CNN for once again putting things on the ticker for the sole purpose of causing controversy. Yes, CAUSING controvery, not reporting something controversial.

    March 26, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. Sue

    Please do not judge this until you have lived through it.

    March 26, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. JE

    The Clinton's personal life is no ones business, but their own. Every situation is different and no one should judge another. Live and let live. I applaud Chelsea's response. Hillary is the best candidate to be Commander-in-Chief. She has leadership, experience, a plan, and genuinely seeks to improve the Country. She is our only hope to get back on track. Obama is smug and arrogant with little experience and no real plan for the future. He has absolutely no chance of beating John McCain. Vote Hillary in '08!

    March 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. Tee Kay

    Fair question (after hearing the explanation) and her answer indicates she has no business being on the campaign trail. There are plenty of people that have endured cheating spouses that might have liked an answer in which they could have related. Missed opportunity.

    March 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. Jim Kansas

    Chelsea's response was great, way to go kid.

    March 26, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. Mike

    The questioner might have felt it was a legit question but in reality it was very wrong to ask that of the daughter. How else could she respond to that kind of question?

    March 26, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. Bill

    If it was an innocent question, then it was a fair one if Hillary Clinton was responding. It was unfair to ask her daughter to respond to what was probably a very traumatic and personal experience for her, as well. But, great response by Chelsea Clinton. I support Obama, but no matter who you support, it was not Hillary Clinton's fault that her husband cheated on her, and that is not a strike against her. Maybe her marriage vows meant something to her.

    March 26, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Dag

    Guess this means Chelsea won't answer any questions regarding her parents dealings with Whitewater, her mother's activities at the Rose Law Firm, and what it's like to be the daughter of an impeached president??

    Oh well, what's her mother's favorite color then?

    March 26, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. Marilyn

    Good for you, Chelsea!! Your opinion of this past scandal is no one's business but yours. Hang in there!

    March 26, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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