Hillary Responds to “Pimp”-gate

Feb 9, 2008 1:44pm

In Orono, Maine, this morning, following a rally at the University of Maine, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., made her first public remarks about MSNBC’s David Shuster having referred to her campaign having "pimped out Chelsea," Clinton’s daughter.

"I am a mom first and a candidate second," Clinton told reporters, per ABC News’ Eloise Harper. "I found the remarks incredibly offensive. I can take whatever comes my way, that’s part of what I signed up for as a candidate as an office holder, but I think that there’s been a troubling pattern of comments and behavior that has to be held accountable. So I have sent a letter to the head of NBC expressing the deep offense that I took and pointing out what has been a troubling pattern of demeaning treatment, and I would expect appropriate action to be taken."

Shuster has been temporarily suspended for his comments, and he has apologized. He has said he was trying to make a larger point about how Chelsea, 27, has been enlisted to work for the campaign though she refuses to talk on the record to the media.

But Clinton suggests a "pattern" by MSNBC hosts, because she has also been offended by comments made by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who — among other comments — has implied Clinton only has her senate job because of her husband’s infidelity with Monica Lewinsky. Under pressure, Matthews apologized on air for that comment.

The campaign has threatened to boycott pending debates on NBC and Clinton would not say today if she would participate in the NBC sponsored debates.

"We have accepted a lot of debates from a lot of different sponsors and were going to wait and see how this plays out," Clinton said.

– Jake Tapper and Eloise Harper

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