Chelsea Clinton is surprised that people find her mother 'cold or unfeeling'

As she knocked on doors and talked to voters in Las Vegas ahead of Saturday’s Democratic caucuses, Chelsea Clinton said she thinks her mother, Hillary Clinton, has been misunderstood.  

“I always am so surprised when people characterize my mother as cold or unfeeling,” she said. "Because my whole life my mother has been warm and generous-hearted and so supportive of me.”

Chelsea Clinton rarely speaks to journalists but talked with two reporters as she went door-to-door asking voters for their support in a hard-pressed residential neighborhood west of the Las Vegas Strip.

With Bernie Sanders gaining momentum in polls and threatening to upset Clinton in a state long considered a must-win for her, the Clinton campaign is working vigorously in the final hours before Saturday’s contest.

Chelsea and her father, former President Bill Clinton, were to appear with the former secretary of State at a rally here Friday night, and they have shipped in dozens of high-profile supporters to walk the streets.

On Friday, Chelsea was accompanied by a friend and America Ferrera, an actress who starred on the television show "Ugly Betty." The group campaigned on a street lined with run-down stucco homes, many with patches of dirt outside instead of front lawns. Neighborhoods like this one suffered greatly during the home foreclosure crisis that devastated Las Vegas several years ago.

As she bent down to pet dogs and chat with children, Chelsea seemed intent on connecting with voters, many of whom seemed surprised to find a Clinton on their doorstep.

“Thanks for supporting my mom,” she told Michael Terrell, 64, after he said he planned to caucus for Clinton.

“I supported your dad, too,” Terrell told her. “I thought he was a good president.”

“Well, I agree,” Clinton said. “But I’m a bit biased.”

“You have a beautiful cat,” she told Terrell as she walked away.

At another home, she played with 5-year-old John Prada Jr.

“That’s amazing,” she said as the boy showed her a trick with a small plastic toy. “Thanks for showing me your magic trick.”

The boy’s father, John Prada, 23, said he was glad she stopped by. “I was planning on voting,” he said. “I just didn’t know when.”

Hillary Clinton, who was once seen as a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination, has suffered low favorability ratings in many polls. Her campaign has attempted to improve her image, having her sit down with young stars like Lena Dunham and Katy Perry and filming advertisements that show her warmer side.

The former first daughter says she knows that side of her mother well, and hopes people realize how deeply she cares about people and the country.   

“She’s definitely always stood up and fought for me, and always stood up and fought for kids across the country,” Chelsea said. “I hope that more people will come to really understand that."

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times