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. [[E]] - San Antonio TX

    If you want an honest person who will defend our Constitution and our monetary system, cast your vote for Ron Paul. If you dont care about our Country and want garbage in, garbage out, continue to not vote or vote for anyone else on the campaign trail. Food for thought see how long it takes to digest.

    November 13, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. Nancella, NY, NY

    Two points–
    1- It alarms me that this young lady who agreed to be part of this set-up (if she is indeed telling the truth) is the future of our country. Being agreeable isn't going to help make the vital decisions that will drive our country forward. She is ending up more dirt on her face than she is helping to spread to Clinton. Get real, Gallo-Chasanoff because you are looking like the brainless one.
    (For the record, I am not sure who I will vote for, and I do not vote along party lines.)
    2- Politicians make a lot of empty promises–that is a fact. What we must unearth is what promises they MIGHT keep. ALL past Presidents have not kept their words to one extent or another.

    November 13, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Just Say No to Hillary, Ft. Worth, TX

    Kyu Reisch please do not speak for ALL American's when you say "Hillary is America's candidate. She certainly is not mine and should not be yours either if you have half a brain. Did you not learn anything from Bill being in office? My motto "Anyone but a Clinton." She is nothing but a whiney woman who can't play with the big boys!

    November 13, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Singh, Washington D.C.

    Why do the Leftists always use the excuse of, "Well, so-and-so did it, so why come down on our fair-haired Wunderkinde for doing the same thing?".

    That's the sort of rationale I'm used to hearing from 8 year old children. "Well, Bobby did it too!!", and parents who respond with, "If Bobby jumps off a cliff, are you going to jump too?" is just as valid.

    Bottom line is, if the action is questionable, it doesn't matter who did it in the past, it's still questionable. And to anyone, Right or Left, using these juvenile tactics to explain away the poor or unethical behavior of ANY politician; maybe it's time to hold politicians of every stripe to a higher standard of behavior, based on the position of public trust they have attained and the oaths of office they swear.

    That sound too 'Pollyanna'? Maybe it is. Maybe decency and honesty have fallen so far out of style that it's inconceivable that the American public can believe in such anachronisms any more, and if so... well, quit your complaining. What you have in office is just a reflection of who you are.

    November 13, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  5. Jon Paul 2, San Francisco, CA

    It's Hillary Clinton, honestly, what do you expect? For her to be hoenst? Give me a break.

    November 13, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. jen jones, riverside, ca

    The way to stop this picking on hillary is to threaten wolf blitzer! He can't do what tim russert did and ask hard questions. Not fair!

    November 13, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Howard, Denver CO

    Be careful crossing the Clintons, all of their friends that have done that are no longer with us.

    November 13, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Jay hunter, troy Michigan

    CNN the mouth piece of democratic talking points will not post this ,but here goes anyway. America will never elect this fake to the white house. people who do not see right through her are in need of help from a doctor.we need a srong leader who will face down our enemies and not waffle. Hillary is a trickster nothing more. and it will all come out in the wash. but people are dumb they will vote for her simply because of slick Willy the skirt chaser. who in his mind believes he is JFK. JFK liked woman but he also was a great man. the Clintons are crooks that fleece America everyday.if you like giving all your money to the govt then by all means vote for her.

    November 13, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. Rob NYC NY

    Truth is – none running for office can afford to answer any candid question. Why? Because the media and the public are too busy looking for flaws in the answers (cracks in the Armor as it were). I only wish they were honest about it. This makes Hillary look just as dirty as everyone else – but apparently that’s what we want, isn’t it? A robotic actor, who ALWAYS ALWAYS say the PC perfect thing. If we step back for a minute its clear that we asked for this.
    Its time to open our minds to honesty and conviction in a candidate – once we are willing to do this people like Hillary wouldn’t stand a chance against the real leaders who would step forward.
    Ask for honesty not correctness and America will be saved.
    -Rob NYC

    November 13, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  10. HH, Pittsburgh, PA

    Paul, Jacksonville, FL, your personal attack on this young woman tells us where your head is at. What does her weight have to do with anything? If you're offended because you're a die-hard Clinton fan, why not just admit it?

    November 13, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. Michael , Mooreland, Indiana

    Wake up people, if Hillary gets elected its only because of those women who think he's such a heart-throb that voted for the stupid idiot to begin with. We've done had 8 years of those hideous hillbillies in the White House, we sure dont need to put them back in there. When its their time to leave again, they may try to take the furniture like they tried before. I certainly hope people out there, men and women deeply reconsider not voting for Hillary and Slick Willy.

    November 13, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. Greg Hunt, mt, clememns MI

    Duncan HUnter 08! for a real leader

    November 13, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Mary, Beaver, PA

    More evidence of Clinton dishonesty. Wake up, people. This isn't new.

    November 13, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. dave baker

    hey folks bush is not running in 2008, Republicans should be printung Hillary for Pres signs. She has no shot against any Repuplican in 08

    November 13, 2007 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. Brian Tampa

    Lets see:

    1.Clinton's do bad
    2.Clinton's get caught
    3.Clinton supporters start the everyone does it drum beat
    4.Destroy the accuser
    5.Play the victim

    I think I have read this book before. The sad part is the same people who support Hillary are the same people who use phrases like Bushbots and call our current President dumb. I have watched every debate and Bush is every bit as intelligent as Hillary. She's not Bill, not even close. Hsu, now this and we haven't even hit the first primary. So let me ask you my liberal leaning friends, who are the sheep now?

    Hypocrisy is the act of condemning another person for an act of which the critic is guilty.


    November 13, 2007 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. Steve Sacramento, CA

    The campaign workers had to know that when a planted question was asked, Hillary would have a canned answer. It is that simple. You don't ask planted questions if you don't know what the answer will be. It was a stunt. Muriel should have agreed to ask the question and then, when called upon, ask whatever question she wanted.

    November 13, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. Guil Abaya, Orlando, FL

    Okay dems. If this is such commmon practice anywhere, why did Clinton said, "This is not acceptable campaign process moving forward. We've taken steps to ensure that it never happens again," in a written response to CNN?

    She already acknowledged doing it, why can't some of you stop making excuses for her?

    You've ARE the very people you accuse Republicans of: "Sheeple".

    November 13, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Bernard, Denver CO

    Everyone is such a hater, Hillary is one of the sexiest, smartest minds in our country today. I am already working on her re-election campaign. Hilly I luv U baby!!!

    November 13, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. Johnny, West Memphis, AR

    Brett from Santa Monica actually blamed BUSH!!! lol


    November 13, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  20. Richard

    Hillary is a sleaze ball. She doesn't get out of bed in the morning without a focus group telling her it is politically advantageous. Just another scandal. Bill could pull it off, Hillary is just an intern.

    November 13, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. William Post, Scottsdale, AZ

    Clinton is just like her old man - a lying, excuse-making, control freak - and how people can miss that is simply amazing. As someone else said, 'You really do have to be delusional to be a Hillary Clinton supporter.'

    November 13, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. David, Washougal, Wa.

    Remarkable young girl. She deserves a pat on the back for expecting honesty when many of us are not only willing but eager to settle for something less.

    November 13, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. DSA, Alhambra CA

    Go ahead, vote for Hillary.......

    November 13, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. retire05, Central Texas

    For all of you who want to point fingers and say "well, Bush did it, too" seem to forget that Mrs. Clinton has promised that it WON'T BE politics as ususal from a secretive adminsitration. Oooops.

    But be sure to attack the messanger. What does this young student have to gain be putting herself out there for all you Clinton apologists to rip her over her being honest about what happened? She would be stupid to do so.

    So the most open and honest woman in the history of American politics is stacking the deck having pat questions asked of her. And you say that you have no problem with it? Do you also have no problem with Mrs. Clinton running on a record of her achievements in the Oval Office (remember, that two for one presidency?) but won't release the records?

    Obama is going to take the high ground on this and Hillary is going to come off looking manipulative, scripted and dishonest. This is only going to help Obama.

    November 13, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Donald, Erath, Louisiana

    Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Hillary's aides only let her do sit-down interviews with friendly media (like "The View"), they succeed in keeping Fox News Channel off the debate venue list out of fear of the kind of tough questions FNC would probably ask her, they try to intimidate all journalists to not attempt to ask Hillary tough questions like the one Tim Russert asked at the last debate, they even try to control average citizens' questions at town hall gatherings so Hillary won't be asked a question she isn't already programmed to finesse, etc. This pattern of behavior suggests a Clinton campaign that has no faith in the abilities of its candidate in anything outside of controlled conditions. It suggests the candidate is incompetent and self-destructive when left to her own devices and is not really suited for the Presidency of the United States. It suggests Hillary Rodham Clinton is nothing but an empty pantsuit.

    November 13, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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