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. John, Kansas City, MO

    Compare this to Bush's so called Town Hall meetings, where you had to answer a survey so they could verify that you were a neo-con facist before you entered the building. That way, Bush could be insured that no one would ask him anything difficult or controversial.

    November 13, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. S Alexander

    What is the BIG DEAl?????? re plants.
    The press has way too much power! and making way too much of this.
    We all know that Obama is a great speaker..up there with Bill Clinton. Obama did some waffling of his own on meet the press Sunday. He is so critical of Hillary's vote on the Lieberman amendment, yet he DID NOT VOTE!
    We will be voting for the next leader of the free world. Do we really want a brilliant relatively inexperienced, unseasoned great speaker.
    Its disturbing to know that most married men will not vote for Hillary (or any other woman),
    Lets face it all of the frontrunners are going at each other and the press is not helping.

    November 13, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. MKW

    I know that most politicians, whether Republican or Dem, have a tendency to be fake, but I've always believed that the Clintons went above and beyond the typical fake political facade. Both of them have a contrived persona and their facades are tailored according to the latest Gallup poll or glamorized social issue. I despise Hillary for thinking that we'd fall for it a SECOND time...

    November 13, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. Joyce Rems Edison NJ

    How do we even know if this sweet looking young woman isn't an Obama or Edwards plant? I find it hard to believe that Hillary cannot answer ANY question that's asked of her.
    The time is getting close for the other candidates to catch up, and they're starting to play dirty!
    Hillary Clinton is the ONLY Democratic candidate that can walk into the White House and not miss a beat. We NEED her this time!

    November 13, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Joe, Providence, RI

    Who Cares?!! It was still a legitimate question. Get over it. Is this really news worthy? The media and this chick need to calm down.

    November 13, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. Richard - San Diego, CA

    The Hillary campaign just wants easy questions that can be answered as vaguely as possible. Hillary still resists committing herself to concrete policy positions, and thinks she can smile her way to the White House. Democrats, don't let it happen! We don't need 4 to 8 years of triangulation and Republican-lite free trade and deregulation, plus all the scandals (real or imagined). We just don't need it!

    November 13, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. Bertin, Houston, TX

    A mistake was made by Clinton's aide for doing this. They need to find out who it was and they need to let them go. As for the student that was told to ask the question, if she didn't want to do it, she should have refused. Now that the story came out, she JUST want publicity–what happened, happened–we need to move on. Clinton has said that it will not be tolerated and it won't.

    November 13, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Greg , Meadville, PA

    WHAT ABOUT ALL OF W'S FAKE KATRINA, AND IRAQ NEWS CONFERENCES? WHAT ABOUT RUDY'S FAKE CALLS FROM HIS 10th WIFE?
    THE ONLY REASON THESE RIGHT WING NUT JOBS ARE HARPING ON THIS GARBAGE IS THAT THEY'RE DESPERATE AND KNOW THEY'RE GOING TO LOSE AGAIN NEXT NOVEMBER!!!...GET A LIFE PEOPLE!!!

    November 13, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. 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 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Ken, Los Angeles, CA

    Well, if I don't vote for Hillary... I will end-up voting for Mitt Romney (and I'm a Democrat).

    November 13, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Jay Brooksville,

    Liar! Liar! Pants on fire.
    Is there anything Hillary won't Lie about??????

    November 13, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Jay Brookaville, Fl.

    Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire!!!!

    Is there anything Hillary won't Lie about?????

    November 13, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. JJ Jacksonville, FL

    Joyce...you and the rest of the hillary-loving idiots are determined to believe that the Clintons are saints and they are always the victims. Every time you hear about Hillary's corruption( or ANY negative criticism for that matter), all of the Hillary supporters adopt the tatic of closing their ears, screwing up their eyes, and yelling 'I'm not listening!' Unfortunately, it shows your immaturity...seeing as this is a tatic used by most eight year-olds.

    November 13, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. Alice, Seattle, WA

    "THE ONLY REASON THESE RIGHT WING NUT JOBS ARE HARPING ON THIS GARBAGE IS THAT THEY'RE DESPERATE AND KNOW THEY'RE GOING TO LOSE AGAIN NEXT NOVEMBER!!!…GET A LIFE PEOPLE!!!"

    ----–

    Uh, excuse me for infusing some fact, but it appears members of the Democrat Party and those running in her own Party are harping as well. Hillary's denial seems to be more of an issue than the act itself. Typical Clinton...deny, deny, deny. Dig the hole deeper. So very tiring. Wish she would just go away.

    November 13, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Stew, Fairfax, VA

    "Hillary Clinton is the ONLY Democratic candidate that can walk into the White House and not miss a beat. We NEED her this time!"

    --–

    I'll bet the anyone in the WH staff that was around during the Clinton years is cringing at this prospect. I wonder what they have to say?

    November 13, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Ken,NY

    Now I know why Karl Rove leave, he is
    running a underground campaign for
    some other non-Hillary democrat. Does
    anyone truly believe Senator from
    IL or Nc has a chance to win next year?

    IN YOUR Dream !

    November 13, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. nimrod

    Someone needs to shut this trailer trash up! No..., the other trailer trash!!

    November 13, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  18. Troy Morris, Seattle, WA

    Hi. Welcome to politics. Any naive enough to think this isn't standard should vote. Yes, I said should. Our votes for president, honestly, don't matter. Vote local to make change.

    November 13, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Matt, Canoga Park CA

    CNN's Pro Hillary censor is working overtime today. Blocking half the post for no reason then pointing out the fact that she screwed up big for this one. But of course post all the Bush bashing compartisons even though he is not running and it was and is just as wrong to do. And best is that it is a woman that is taking her down. Where are the excuses of it's a conspiracy.

    I find you apoligists amazing. If a drunk crew member of a boat runs it ashore the Captain is the one responsible. If Hillary's campaign is planting softball questions for her then she is ultimately responsible.

    Reagan did not trade guns to the Iranians but his staff and people under him did. Only he had the guts to take the hit and blame for it.

    A democratic presidents motto was the Buck stops here. What's Hillary's excuse if that sentiment is still true today.

    So make your excuses all you want they are like a part of your anatomy and they all stink.

    Hillary is down and staying down from this hit.

    Anybody But Clinton.

    November 13, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Virginia, Indian Wells, CA

    HILLARY SHOULD IMMEDIATELY DISMISS THE STAFFERS WHO HAVE GONE AGAINST HER AVOWED WISHES BY ARRANGING AND PLANTING QUESTIONS IN THE AUDIENCE!!! THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS AND HAS BROUGHT DISHONOR TO HER CAMPAIGN. THE STAFFERS SHOULD BE NAMED PUBLICALLY AND FORCED TO TAKE THE BLAME.....of course, if what Hillary says is true!

    November 13, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Blue in a Red State - Phoenix, AZ

    Guess what, Ladies and Gentlemen ... this is nothing new. Planting a question at a news conference is standard, quick-and-dirty Public Relations. It happens all the time and those candidates who say they don't do it are blissfully ignorant.

    You don't think it happens here on CNN.com? I'm sure there are many campaign staffers that are paid to sit and surf websites like this and post the candidate's talking points on all of these sorts of blogs.

    WAKE UP –

    November 13, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. pl. at the UN for a while.

    I am not American. I cannot vote.

    Of course!! They are all doing it.
    The problem is that no one can be set apart or aside.
    With 20 candidates, at this point, the odds are in favor of those who do it the most; and most blatantly.

    November 13, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Merry Jaine Hanover, NH

    These types of things go on in all the candidates campaigns ... but only of interest when it happens to Hillary, apparently. I was at a Edwards' rally and I watched while his people stood in front of an elderly couple who had signs that stated "Draft Gore". They were acting like goons. Big college students who were staff for the Edwards campaign (I had talked to some of them before Edwards even showed up)followed these two elderly people, a woman and a man, around the event, and stood in front of them, using Edward signs to hide the "Draft Gore" signs. They stood shoulder to shoulder blocking these people and their signs with their own Edward signs, shadowing the Gore supporters every move. I happened to be near them, when I noticed what was going on, and I went up to the students and told them I was ashamed of their behavior and tactics. I could hardly believe my eyes at first. A short time later, I saw a newpaper journalist who was covering the event, and told him about the very obvious incidents of bullying going on, and the journalist couldn't have cared less! Interesting how the journalists are now jumping on this "staff" story! I am so sick of all this salivating and waiting for the frontrunner to fall flat on her face!! Nice going!

    November 13, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. SteveG, Huntington, WV

    I am seeing an Obama & Edwards ticket

    November 13, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. Barry, Temple, Texas

    Campaigns having been doing since the trail of Christ. It is unfortunate that candidates are afraid to answer real qustions from real people but not really dishonest. You don't have to agree to do it. If this little thing is what gives you a negative outlook then you really haven't been paying attention have you?

    November 13, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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