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Chelsea Clinton opened up about her parents, the election and Donald Trump during a candid sit-down with Chelsea Handler on Chelsea.
During the pre-taped segment (now streaming in full on Netflix), the talk show host asked the former and perhaps future first daughter if she can pinpoint why some voters believe that her mother Hillary Clinton isn’t “humanized enough” or is untrustworthy.
“It’s something that I have wondered about for as long as I’ve been aware of this disconnect,” said Clinton. “I remember even as a little kid in Arkansas, she’d be criticized for being too serious or not feminine enough, or how dare she be tackling education reform instead of just being a traditional first lady of Arkansas. I don’t remember a time in my life when she wasn’t being criticized full stop and criticized for not being warm enough or empathetic enough.”
Speaking to the disconnect between her own experience and the perceived opinion, she continued, “What greater sense of empathy and warmth is there then to give your whole life to fighting for women and children and families? And the person that I know is funny and carefree and hilarious.”
As the only child to Hillary and Bill Clinton — and potentially the only American to have both parents running the White House — Handler wanted to know how she survives the criticism lobbed at her family and mother, namely the rhetoric from Donald Trump.
Clinton, however, brushed Trump’s impact aside by recounting a lesson she says she learned early on from her mother: “It’s important to take serious criticism from serious people seriously, and important to take unserious criticism from unserious people unseriously. For me, her opponent falls quite firmly in the second camp.”
The response elicited cheers from the watching studio audience.
“One thing that’s different about this election is the effort to normalize hate speech,” Clinton added. “That seems to be one of Donald Trump’s main strategies and that I do find really upsetting and offensive. I never want it to feel unexceptional, because I think we should always take exception to what he says about women, minorities, Americans with disabilities, the LGBTQ community.”
She also relayed how she’s never known life to be any different.
“In some ways, I’m really lucky — and this is going to sound bonkers, but I mean this with every fiber — I don’t remember a time in my life where my mom wasn’t being attacked,” she said. “I don’t remember a time where she wasn’t being hammered for what she believes, who she’s fighting for and what she is, and also, her gender. This campaign is just the most recent episode in my life and I’m just so proud that my mom keeps going.”
Her father Bill Clinton, however, does feel the sting.
“He is sometimes offended on her behalf, that’s probably even a mild way of characterizing it,” Clinton admitted. “I always see my parents being more upset when the other is being attacked, even more so than when they are.”
Clinton, now a mother to two (Charlotte, 2, and Aidan, 4 months, with husband Marc Mezvinsky), expressed that she hopes the current contentious election cycle doesn’t turn young people off from getting involved and called Nov. 8 “such a clear choice.”
“I’m just so hyperactively inspired by Mom right now and I think my heart is just going to burst every day,” she said “But she’s still first and foremost my mom and that’s kind of what I feel most.”
Watch a clip of the interview below and stream the full episode of Chelsea now on Netflix.
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