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. Suze H., Pittsburgh PA

    I'm surprised this is causing such controversy. I'm also surprised at this, from the story: "No questions were taken at the event. Elleithee said this incident was different than what happened with Gallo-Chasanoff in Newton." This is a quote from the article, not from Elleithee, so the error (should read 'from') appears to be the writers.

    November 13, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. RA, Denton, Tx

    who cares, everyone does it and has...doesn't make it right by any means, but, again, who cares.....
    sure wish the people in the audience could ask any question they wanted, but IMO politics are nothing but a reality show, and a bad one at that. Pathetic.

    November 13, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Your all morons

    Are you all serious?? This is a POLITICAL CAMPAIGN!! You really think Hilary is the only one doing this?? I guess we should blame her for trying to find different ways of relaying her own plans and ideas. All she did was have a college student ask her a question. OH NO!!! WHAT A TRAGEDY!!! I feel bad for everyone who makes such a big deal about small stuff like this.

    November 13, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    Good story, but no surprise. All of the presidential monkeys plant questions in the audience. I'm not condoning it; it's just an example of how crooked ALL politicians have become.

    November 13, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Tom McElmurry

    STEPHANIE BEKENDAM....Take your caps lock off you ninny! Why so angry? Could it be you've been brain washed @ college? Did your college professor make you memorize this for extra credit? The key word is ENLIGHTEN! Once you use it you've lost all credibility. Fix your lipstick and go outside and take a breath of fresh air for God's sake.

    November 13, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. Tony MIcle, Atlanta, GA

    Helen, Boston, you just said exactly what I thought, and it is true. Nagative people couldn't figure out what is true or false.
    I am very proud of being Hillary's supporter. Cal, Boston, sorry, Hillary is my candidate and American's candidate.


    November 13, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Jim, Rochester NY

    To all those people that say, "Well Bush/Cheney does/did it." I say, isn't she supposed to be different, i.e. not like Bush/Cheney. If she is not so different than them, why should I vote for her?

    November 13, 2007 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. John, Las Vegas, NV

    If this blog is typical of thinking in the country, then this blog marks the beginning of the end of the Clinton candidacy. All hail the blog!

    November 13, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. Brian, Cicero, NY

    Some have brought up that Bush removes certain people from his audiences. That's because they are disruptive, crazed, liberals who are not interested in the truth and would not allow a civilized discourse to take place. Face it. Liberals (which includes most Democrats) are dishonest, disingenuous, uneducated, selfish, self serving, power hungry, sad people willing to sell out anything including this great country's political structure for their own gain. All you down trodden people who think liberals will fill your troughs should look again and realize this country was made great by hard work, freedom and the unfettered pursuit of God and happiness.

    November 13, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. Shawn, Chicago, IL

    First all those Clintonites what us to feel sorry for Hillary because men apparantely should not play hardball with a women who wants to be our President. Then when it suits them they all go on full attack mode on this young lady.

    November 13, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. Jack Meoffe, Mertel, Oregon


    November 13, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Vox Populi, Nova, VA

    Two points:

    1. For those who say "so what? Bush/Cheney employ the same tactics" are those who are saying that Hillary is no better than Bush/Cheney and that she and her campaign are using the same tactics as Bush/Cheney and therefore her campaign is a lie if it portrays itself as an alternative to Bush/Cheney.

    2. For those who are trying to smear an honest student who is justifiably whistleblowing on the corrupt Hillary campaign you should be ashamed of yourself - we know who, between Hillary and the student, who has a documented history of lying ... and it is not the student.

    November 13, 2007 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Greg W Litiz Pa

    All questions are "softball" if you have time to have your team of advisers come up with a response ahead of time. weasels! the lot of them! Jeb Bush 2016!

    November 13, 2007 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. Theresa LV

    I cannot believe the Clinton supporters' vile remarks about this young girl and all the while singing the praises of the unethical behavior of Clinton.

    If this is an example of who supports the Clintons, I am glad I am very far removed from that group. I hope they are not breeding.

    November 13, 2007 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. JD, Evansville, IN

    The political machine in action.

    RON PAUL 2008~~!

    November 13, 2007 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. Bob Merrimack, NH

    Ann Coulter wrote a great book."If people had brains they would vote Republican"(conservitive). But I would add, If people were not congenital liars and degenerate to the point of reprobate,they would vote conservitive.

    November 13, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. james, ga

    ah come on. we all know clinton can win in any debate.. the democrats should feel lucky that they got both obama and clinton running since both of them actually know how to speak unlike the current president.

    November 13, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. Greg mt,clemens mi

    does this really come as a surprise to anyone? Hillary Clinton is all smoke and mirrors. she has no stance on anything except to make the USA a socialist state. where only the elites like herself will have the money. look at what the dems have to offer. its a joke.

    November 13, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. James, Phoenix AZ

    Hillary is a liar – just like her husband. The only difference is – she doesn't wag her finger... she just glares.

    November 13, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. john, AZ

    Whoever is right or wrong it's her word against Clinton's, but one things for sure, you just can't trust a Clinton.

    November 13, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Chris, Buies Creek, NC

    The question to ask is whether the Clinton staff planted the question or whether they screened the question. President Bush's staff is widely known to screen questions, rather than plant them, and there is a distinct difference between the two.

    If it is true that they are planting (rather than screening) then it is a totally newsworthy story and will haunt Clinton in the next few weeks.

    November 13, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Bert, Houston, TX

    I already had my doubts about Hillary because of the robotlike, scripted answers to questions, the ridiculous giggling each time she's put on the spot by a reporter and now this. Now we have scripted questioners to go along with Hillary's scripted answers. When the heck is she going to come clean and give a straight answer about anything? I'm not a conspiracy nut, but at some point reasonable people have to recognise that scandals like this have followed the Clintons throughout their career. For me personally, I've had enough of this nonsense. If Obama doesn't beat Hillary for the nomination, then I will vote for Rudy in the general election.

    November 13, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  23. James Carlson Garden City, KS

    The significance of HillPlant needs to considered from both the ethics and leadership perspectives. In order to call on this one student Senator Clinton must have been aware of the program and the “appropriate" responses – which at minimum can be labeled deceptive. From the leadership perspective, I am concerned about someone cannot field genuine questions, but instead seeks to control what may be asked in public forums – makes one wonder if our voice as Americans, under her leadership, might be stifled in other ways.

    November 13, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. Michael Jones, Losantville, Indiana

    I'ld love to ask her what makes her think she'ld be a good president since she has trouble remembering anything. In the investigation of her investments, her only answer was "I cant recall"! And she used that defense countless times.

    November 13, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. Dick West

    Hillary was right, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Hillary, it's time for you to leave the house.

    November 13, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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