November 13th, 2007
11:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Student given question to ask Clinton: I wasn't only one

Watch Student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff's interview with CNN.

GRINNELL, Iowa (CNN) - The college student who says she was told what question to ask at one of Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign events told CNN Monday that she wasn't the only one at the event who was a plant and said "voters have the right to know what really happened."

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff, a 19-year-old sophomore at Grinnell College in Iowa - whose story in her campus newspaper has now been widely circulated - said that giving anyone specific questions to ask is "dishonest," and the whole incident has given her a negative outlook on politics.

Gallo-Chasanoff, an undecided voter, said what happened was really pretty simple: she says a senior Clinton staffer asked if she'd like to ask the senator a question after an energy speech she gave in Newton, Iowa, on November 6. (Watch Gallo-Chasanoff ask Clinton the question)

"I sort of thought about it, and I said 'Yeah, can I ask how her energy plan compares to the other candidates' energy plans?'" Gallo-Chasanoff said.

"'I don't think that's a good idea," the staffer said, according to Gallo-Chasanoff, "because I don't know how familiar she is with their plans."

He then opened a binder to a page that, according to Gallo-Chasanoff, had about eight questions on it.

"The top one was planned specifically for a college student," she added. " It said 'college student' in brackets and then the question."

Full story

-CNN's Chris Welch and David Schechter

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa • Race to '08
soundoff (489 Responses)
  1. jeff, irvine ca

    Hillary didn't know anything about the questions being planted. Sure, just like she didn't know Bill was messing around with anything in a skirt. Just like the FBI records. Just like the cattle futures. Just like..... Dick Morris (who probably knows Hillary better than anyone) says she is a pathological liar. I concur.

    November 13, 2007 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. travis mobile al

    Whoever gets away with the most dishonesty gets elected!!

    Hillary get in the back of the line, you're too stupid to get away with it.

    Which makes Bush a genius.

    November 13, 2007 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Independent Voter, Spartanburg, SC

    This makes Clinton look scripted, fake.

    It also makes me wonder which of the other candidates are doing this, too.

    I dare them all, every one of them, to start taking town hall-type meetings - no scripts, no plants in the audience, no one kept out.

    TRUTH is vital to a healthy political process. No wonder our politics is in the gutter.

    November 13, 2007 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. Me

    Who cares? One sophomor got superexcited by the chance to talk to the media and "fight for the the honesty in politics". Every campaing is doing that and will be doing in the future to highlight their candidate. Now, it was stupid from the staffer to do it with the person he couldn't be sure in, but what it all has to do with Hillary? She's still the best possible future President of US from the current pack and, person with the best chances. Look at the polls in the South – Obama doesn't get her nembers even close.

    November 13, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Mark Raleigh NC

    I am just glad that democrats believe it's ok to once again have a man living in the White House who is an adulterer, probable rapist, and the creator of rendition for the purpose of torture of suspects in third world country. That's right the current despot didn't think that up on his own. Oh and to think they also want the woman who decided to stay married to him to hold the reigns of government......Brilliant.

    November 13, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. Carol, Brooklyn, NY

    WHY did she ask the question? Doesn't that make HER a hypocrit???

    November 13, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. Mack Flower Mound, TX

    Why does this surprise anyone. Hillary's adjenda is to get what she wants by any means necessary. She can't give a straight answer because she knows the "real Hillary" could never be elected. So, pile on boys, it's going to be an interesting ride.

    November 13, 2007 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Brian, VA

    How do you know when Hillary is lying?
    When her lips are moving.

    November 13, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. Dave, Va Beach, Va

    Good on the lass for bringing this to light. I wonder how long it will take the Clinton machine to discredit her and drag her name through the mud.

    November 13, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. H. Valdez, Hillsboro, Oregon

    Funny how on both sides of the aisles we talk about wanting change, then all we do is support those that pull the same old stuff.

    November 13, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  11. John, Las Vegas, NV

    Blindly defending Hillary at all costs is leading many in this blog to verbally rape this woman as the best way to deflect criticism from Hillary. I've read at least two allusions to this young woman's weight, and another to her name. What does a person's weight or name have to do with their honesty. And why this copout of the use of the term "ALLEGED" in so many postings? The Clinton campaign has already ADMITTED it took place. There is no longer anything ALLEGED about it. The only thing ALLEGED is that the Clinton campaign ALLEGES this is not standard practice to plant questions. Let's see if that claim holds up in the coming days. My hunch is though that any overweight college student won't dare to come forward for fear of being trashed by Hillary's subservient, unthinking, and callous supporters.

    November 13, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. J Houston, TX

    After reading this thread, I am once again convinced that the right to vote should be subject to an IQ test.

    November 13, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. trevor, springfield, missouri

    If you think Clinton's campaign is the only one doing this, you're awfully naive. I'd bet it's standard practice across the board. It's no different than a typical talk show or a FEMA press conference.

    November 13, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Ken, Atlanta, Georgia

    'Secret combinations' of the Clintons –America don't be fooled by these very dangerous people with an invisible agenda. The very life of the USA is at stake. Dishonesty only scratches their surface. If you only knew.

    November 13, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Scott, Jupiter, Florida

    Right...because Clinton is the only candidate who does this...who care's...good for her if she is smart enough to make her conference go the way she wants it to. What a newsflash...a less than honest action by a

    November 13, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. phil anderson, san diego, ca

    So, Mrs. Clinton planted questions? What next, threatening Wolf Blitzer? If Mr. Blitzer folds, we will have proof that the clintons control the media.

    November 13, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Ewin Sanchez, Manchester, CT

    Hey, if you really thought it was sleazy, why'd ya do it? Why'd ya ask the question. This sounds like the Craig scandal... I'm guilty...wait, no I'm not. I just have a wide stance... I'm retiring...wait, no I'm not! Gimme a break. This student is just as much a politician as the jokers you all are trashing here. Now that she's had her 15 minutes of fame, let's give her the bum rush she deserves. I agree with earlier comments, the media needs to get a clue and Move On!

    November 13, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. Jeff B., Plano TX

    The "everyone does it" defense is pretty lame. You become an apologist at that point. I was a Bush apologist for many years and it became very tiring.

    When you have to apologize all the time for your candidate, you'll never notice if they really do screw up. Just look at President Bush. And how many of you were Clinton apologists?

    Don't you want someone more worthy to support? A fresh start? Say no to Clinton and Rudy.

    Obama, Romney, Edwards, Paul, Biden, or Thompson would be a nice clean start.

    November 13, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  19. R.S. Balad, Iraq

    Where does the Bush Administration come into play on this? Why do the liberals ALWAYS resort to blaming everything on President Bush? If the democrats stuck to the topic at hand then they may get father. The democrats messed up, except it and drive on.

    November 13, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. Jubie, Kansas City, Missouri

    Oh please, this is a typical ploy used by ALL politicians since the beginning of politics. Republicans can't say anything about "where's the honesty???" because this administration has proven itself time and again to be anything BUT honest.

    I think a good solution to the "problem" is to DEMAND honesty. Not soundbites. Don't tell us what we want to hear. Formulate a transparent & above-board agenda, and give it to us straight. Our leaders have become so paranoid-schizophrenic, we can't read anything anymore or watch it on TV without having to wonder what the REAL truth is?

    November 13, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  21. Mark, boise, Idaho

    OMG, not another "BIMBO" eruption! Do we take her out Bill?

    November 13, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. pat huntington ny

    If no one is going to vote for a candidate who is asked questions from a supposed "plant", then y'all should stay home on election day.

    November 13, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. AnyonebutHillary, Ft. Myers, FL

    Hillary cannot answer anything other than planted or scripted questions because she may accidently convey how she really feels about many subjects. If people really knew how radical her socialist leanings were she would be rejected. First we have planted questions. Now we have Wolf Blitzer being cautioned not to pull a "Tim Russert" on Hillary at Thursdays debate. Hillary and her staff are weak and pathetic.

    November 13, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. Genna Waverly OH

    "She's such a phony." I replied:" Why/" The student replied:" Because her smile is fake!" Folks this is a 7 year old student who already can determine a fake smile from a sincere smile. What does this tell you?" Steve

    It tells me that she has Republican parents. Get a clue with your clairvoyant students....Steve.

    November 13, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. Lance in Monrovia CA

    Hillary is lying. It's not credible that her staffers have a clipboard with questions and "college Student" in brackets and Hillary has absolutely no idea what's going on. If she wasn't lying, she'd be incompetent and have incompetent staffers, but I don't believe she's incompetent, she's simply a great liar.

    I'm really saddened by this article. I don't want to discredit any of the Democratic candidates, but this furthers the feeling that I've had for years about Hillary, that I simply can't trust her to tell the truth.

    I badly, badly want a government that is transparent and that represents all the peoples' interests. I want a real leader in the White House, someone with enough communication skills and integrity that every question doesn't have to be staged.

    When you watch the clip of her talking, she's obviously glancing down and looking at her notes as she speaks. It's a canned and heavily rehearsed answer to the question.

    I DON'T WANT CANNED ANYMORE! To hell with politics as usual. I want authenticity. I want real answers to unrehearsed questions. I am heart sickened by these empty suits in Washington and their rehearsed soundbites.

    What has become of our system? What has become of our government that merely by being the wife of a President someone should be worthy to be President?

    I want a real leader. The only real leader I've seen in this race is Barack Obama. When he speaks, I believe it. He's intelligent and passionate both. He doesn't pull punches but he doesn't throw reckless jabs either. He's someone that's pulled himself up by the boot straps, someone that has risen to his current position of potentially being the leader of the free world through hard work, a lot of heart, and good ideas, nothing more.

    He's matched her every step of the way and done it without the name value and without the political machine and lies that Hillary has so down pat.

    I'm not going to take the status quo anymore. i'm not going to take the political b.s. from Hillary or any other.

    I'm working myself like crazy to get Barack Obama elected. I'm knocking on doors. I'm talking to people. I'm making phone calls.

    tonight i'm staging a volunteer meeting and Thursday we're having a debate party. I'm taking charge of my government again and I find a lot of people out there ready to do it with me.

    All of you out there reading this, get involved in the process, get involved in the real world. It's the only way we'e going to assure a future for ourselves.

    Don't let the media pick your candidate from the aisle of empty suits they present you.

    Check out Barack Obama. Go to and look at his ideas, look at his speeches, and look at the future of this country.

    Give up the pork of Politics. Today's pig is tomorrow's bacon and Barack Obama knows what's cookin'.

    Obama 08!

    November 13, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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