Chelsea on Lewinsky: Butt out

March 26, 2008 11:33:10 AM PDT
The college student who got a stinging brushback from Chelsea Clinton when he asked about the Monica Lewinsky scandal said Wednesday he's a Clinton supporter who was trying to get her to show "what makes Hillary so strong." Evan Strange, a Butler University student who works on the school's newspaper, The Butler Collegian, said he had asked Chelsea Clinton her opinion "on the criticism of her mother that how she handled the Lewinsky scandal might be a sign of weakness and she might not be a strong enough candidate to be president."

It wasn't clear what aspect of the former first lady's actions he was referring to. Before she was fully aware of President Bill Clinton's relationship with Lewinsky, Hillary Rodham Clinton said allegations about her husband and the White House intern were manufactured by a "vast right-wing conspiracy."

Strange's question at Chelsea Clinton's appearance Tuesday at the school brought a stinging rebuke from Clinton's daughter. "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," Chelsea Clinton said during the campaign visit for her mother.

"I'm a supporter of Hillary. I love Hillary," Strange said Wednesday on CBS' "The Early Show." He said he asked the question because his friends "always bring up that scandal. It's not something I asked to cause trouble but to show those people what makes Hillary so strong."

He said that by brushing him off, Chelsea Clinton missed an opportunity to show her mother's strength.

"I was very surprised" at the rebuke, Strange said. "I can see where she'd get a little defensive because of the question and hearing Lewinsky over and over again, but I would like to hear her say something about Hillary rather than dismissing the question."