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. Paul C. Palmetto Bay, FL

    Lets beat this to death...
    If this idiot is turned off politics by this then she surely needs further education. She's supposedly an adult so why didn't she protest at the time but wait to get her 15 minutes of outrage.

    No one had a problem with Bush packing and prepping his audiences but now it is "dishonest"?. Give me a very large break.

    November 13, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. Jim - Tulsa Okla

    Blizter warned he could be another tree in the park like Vince Foster.

    klown camp in all out threatening mode to control msm press from asking hardball questions.

    will obama moved in for the kill or run with his tail between his legs?

    stay tuned the clintion cartoon network runnig next debate ...... will larry king be a surprise questioner?

    November 13, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Linda, Chandler AZ

    To the person who said "ALL candidates do this"....NO, they DON"T!!!! Barack Obama does NOT do this!!!! Hillary Clinton does not have an honest bone in her body!!! When are people going to open their eyes and SEE that???!!!

    November 13, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Scott Richardson, Bloomington, IL.

    Oh, please. What real difference does it make if someone wants to plant a question to insure that the issues are discussed. The kid only had to say no.

    November 13, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. jd, okc oklahoma

    "same old crap" did we not get enough of this with bill. i'm tired of the lies lets try someone new no clinton's no bushes

    November 13, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. Greg W, Falls Chruch, VA

    Ron Paul doesn't do this.

    November 13, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. CallMeIshmael, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.

    This is old news. Everyone knows the Clintons are compulsive liars and Machivellian manipulators. Why is this even an issue?

    November 13, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Jake, Fairfax, VA

    Hm. Next time you mine the crowd for a college student to ask a staged question, make sure they're not a journalism major.

    As for the surprise factor - WOW! In an economy dominated by advertising, is anyone REALLY surprised that political candidates would set up their own pins to be knocked down? It's a bi-partisan problem and, quite simply, the effect of politics being a field full of professional liars and thieves.

    November 13, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. AJ, IL

    The Hillary-supporters have called this college student a liar, overweight, and unattractive. WOW! She wanted to do the right thing as a young person interested in presidential politics and now she has been soured by the Hillary campaign camp. If you listen or read her transcript, she have any malice words towards the Hillary camp, but hard-core Hillary supporters blinded defend Hillary at the cost of this young woman. Hillary Campaign has already admitted that this happened. So this allegation is now fact.

    I say to the young woman, don't give up hope of politics. Follow the politics of hope. Support Obama.

    Obama in '08!

    November 13, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  10. Vince Kuz, Pgh, PA

    I would have had a hell of a lot more respect for Hillary if she would have just said, "Yeah, I knew it was a pre-planned question. So what! My staff and me thought it was a questions that should be asked". Just tell the truth, that's all I'm looking for. Someone to tell the truth. I would vote the one person that wasn't afraid to admit they didn't have all the answers. Don't insult my intelligence by saying you didn't know it was a planted question. The planting of the question didn’t bother me as much as denying you knew about it.

    November 13, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. Christine Grace, Overland Park KS

    the girl asked the question because the staffer pretty much cornered her into asking it. all she wanted to do was ask her OWN question. so she thinks the staffer is giving her an opportunity, only to find out that he/she is expecting her to ask the scripted question. when the staffer pulls out a clipboard, it's obvious he is counting on her to ask the question. like she said, she just wanted to be agreeable. i can identify with that. when you have a high-ranking campaign staffer ask you to do something, in the spur of the moment you are intimidated so you say you will. simple as that folks. she's only 19. stop bashing her. and she's not the only one who claimed hillary plants questions; there was another guy in iowa too. i don't think she is milking this at all. in fact it is courageous of her to speak out about it, knowing that ardent hillary supporters would label her as a phony.

    November 13, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. CallMeIshmael, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.

    This is old news. Everyone knows the Clintons are compulsive liars and Machiavellian manipulators. Why is this even an issue?

    November 13, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Diana Cooper, Bakersfield, Ca.

    The same thing happened with the appearance of Vice President, Dick Cheney at the Cal State Bakersfield Campus in Bakersfield, Ca.. The plant was not just limited to the questions but also to two planted protestors. It was so orchestrated that it was disgusting. I concluded that anything televised in any manner is going to be a fixed agenda. Purpose control and to keep the focus where a Vice President or President for that matter and candidates and STAFF can keep control and focus where they want it.....in other words it NOT a Reality Show. They all do the same thing, unfortunate

    November 13, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. David, East Peoria, Illinois

    Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor who lived in the 1700s, is attributed with writing “A democracy is always temporary in nature: it simple cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority will always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”

    Does this sound familiar?

    Democracies rarely survive beyond 200 years. The Unites States is at a crucial point in history which will determine whether it falls like every other democracy that has preceded us.

    The time has come for a new constitutional convention in the United States with the objective of eliminating politicians, the impact of special interest groups AND the corrupt bureaucracies in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our government.

    With further development in our technologies for instant communication, there is realistically no reason why the burden and responsibility of running our democracy should not be placed back on "We the people of the United States" where it belongs by voting directly on every statewide or nationwide issue. Just watch what happens to taxes and the budget when "We the people" are directly responsible for expenditures. Of course, the professional politicians will fight against such a prospect with lies and every dirty trick in the book– but "We the people" can (and must) prevail if the United States is to exist another 200 years.

    November 13, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. Wally Young boston, MA

    Trying to put it back on the republicans is an ad-hominem rhetorical misdirection that undermines our social values of political discourse and is a culturally divisive technique of the ignorant in need of group acceptance.

    I feel demographically pigeon-holing a question towards a rehearsed response shows contemptible cowardice whether it comes from republicans or Democrats

    November 13, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. RuthieM

    This is awful, I knew this wasn't the first planted question and it won't be the last from Clinton, who absoultely knew about it. This young person is now turned off by politics. It was like a political rape, the big Clinton machine taking advantage of a young voter, and there should be a law against it. And it just baffles me how people are supporting Clinton. If she lands in the white house we're in for another devastating 4 years, or more! Please please please say it ain't so.

    November 13, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Mike USMC 95-99

    What's going on here?

    HEllo Hunny

    Where was your protest at the time of the Canned question?

    Not that I agree with Canned questions, but c'mon hunny...I smell a rat here...

    Why would any campaign "plant" questions & people, knowning full-well about the Rovian tactic will be pinpointed when it's discovered?

    November 13, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Thomas A, Newport, NC

    (“No one had a problem with Bush packing and prepping his audiences but now it is "dishonest"?. Give me a very large break. By Paul C. Palmetto Bay, FL”)

    Sure we care. When did this supposedly happen? There is the problem that GWB is the PRESIDENT and the Secret Service will check out those that may be a threat to the President. There is the fact that is some stupid political activist starts to act up in the middle of a Presidential visit they may be seen as a problem and removed. But when did President Bush plant questions? That is something “the Evil” Bill and Hillary “the Harpy” Clinton have been doing their entire time in national politics.

    November 13, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. nevadamuley Las Vegas, Nevada

    This chick is mentally ill or just plain stupid.

    She wanted 15 minutes of fame and got it. The problem for her is that this, "I was an unwilling participant" is total crap.

    Muriel Gallo-Whatever her name is, promotes the notion that women are weak because, wah wah wah she didn't want to make anyone unhappy...you poor stupid whimp!

    My 6 year old has more integrity than this chick.

    Yes, the Clinton campaign staffer should have known better, but don't think for a minute the other campaigns don't do the same thing.

    The others are just better at choosing good shills.

    Hillary is still the strongest and best qualified candidate to lead and unite this country.

    November 13, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. Bridget, LA, CA

    Who really cares? Why is the media making this a criminal offense, isn't the purpose of these events to convey information on the candidates positions? At least the crowd didn't have to be a donor to attend...Do you really think the bush banners, military men and women used as props, a conveniently located, privately funded veterans hospital vistited by our vacationing commander in chief on Veterans day, isn't more agregious, considering the life and death consequences of this administrations incompetance and tightly controlled media propoganda?

    November 13, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. shelly, altoona, ia

    WHO CARES!! I AM FROM THE NEWTON/DES MOINES, IA AREA. EVERY POLITICIAN DOES THE SAME THING. I hope this girl realizes that she has just potentially hurt the best candidate for president by insinuating that she thinks differently of Hillary now because of her campaign tactics when every politician campaign is run the same way. Then you have to wonder if the CNN reporter didnt twist some of her words to make this story more interesting!!

    Hillary for President '08

    November 13, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. Sacramento, CA

    And the Hiliary excuses fly

    November 13, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. Jessy - New Orleans, LA

    Sigh. More of the same old-same old. Huckabee for President. He's not afraid of any question from anybody.

    November 13, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. Rob, Cupertino CA

    There was a time when the people of this great country were ashamed to appear stupid.
    Now, being stupid and clueless is all the rage because this will get you on TV.
    If this student simply declined to ask the questions, who would know about her? I am sure that now she will be invited on all the talk shows.

    November 13, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. Peg, Findlay, Ohio

    A plant is someone in your staff or campaign. Suggesting a question similar to the question the student was going to ask is not a plant. She could have ask that question or when called upon asked her original question. She was under no obligation to the Clinton campaign to ask the suggested question.

    November 13, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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