It's just a comparison, to illustrate how her character design was done. Seriously. Every FF character shares similar traits with others before them. It's just how it is. She's not gonna be a carbon copy of Cloud.
If she is, then that'll be stupid, but you're making a big deal out of a stupid comparison that was made to illustrate the direction they made in making a strong lead female character for this game. In the end, it'll mean nothing.
The comparison was a lazy one. Yes, FF characters share similarities, but they haven't been referred to in the same way as Lightning being a "female Cloud". It's like something a noobie fanfic writer would say.
It's certainly something I wouldn't say if I were the one being interviewed, but they figured since Cloud's arguably one of the most popular FF characters, that'd get some attention to her right there, while illustrating how they made her.
She still isn't going to be Cloud, and that's whats important, stupid quotes be damned.