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. Keon James Kansas City, Missouri

    Honestly people why are we so surprised about this. This is a part of the political no matter planned or casual it was. It's situations like this that other countries can can use in proving how naive we truly are. Mrs.Clinton is a politician and has a staff of people to make sure she wins this election. Here's the main difference between Republicans and Democrats is Democrats get caught doing this kind of thing, Republicans don't. Name the issue Democrats get caught and then later on in someone's book a retired Republican tells his life story and everything is presented out for the world to see. We need to get in our collective heads, we are in control of where this country goes in the present and future. It is our responsibility to not be swayed by popular opinion.

    November 13, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. J. Slicker, West Bloomfield, MI

    Maybe we could coax Ken Star out of retirement to investigate. He did such a bang-up job the last time. Seriously though, is this such a big deal? At least Hillary has to memorize the answers, since she is not wired like Bush.

    November 13, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. Ayyub, Richmond

    All canidates do this. Even our on President does this and got caught

    Posted By No Name, Alexandria, VA : November 13, 2007 8:56 am

    Come on, That doesn't make it right!

    November 13, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Lance in Monrovia CA

    To the person who asks above "what about Bush's and FEMA's fake news conferences and q and a sessions...

    uh... I think that's the point. Hillary is exactly of the same ilk as Bush is. She's really, really good at manipulating voters and the media.

    Haven't we had enough of this b.s. yet?

    Obama/Edwards 08!

    I can't wait. Stop the Hate. Change our fate. Don't be late.

    November 13, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. Sky Bohm Joplin, MO

    With all the issues at hand that affect our everyday lives–health care, the war, the justice dept.–and this girl complains about a planted question??!!!! Get over it!! This doesn't matter a hill of beans to ANYONE!!! Enough with the conspiracy theory. This is the problem with politics–the media covers bogus issues like Howard Dean's yell–and the attention is drawn away from people who are doing REAL harm to our nation like those who expose CIA agent's names or partake in other forms of government corruption. Stick to IMPORTANT issues!!!! PLEASE!!!

    November 13, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Carl, Dallas, TX

    THe day Hilary becomes president is the day we will turn into the USSR, but without the mass murders.

    Ironically people hate Bush's patriot act, but it will be ten times worse and we will lose our rights slowly...

    but if voters want it... vote away like clowns

    November 13, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. JJ, Dallas, TX

    Wow, over 300 hundred responses. You do know what this means DON'T YOU? When you talk about Hillary, it is news. If this would have been Edwards or Bama, dead in the water. This chick is in bad need for attention... "see me, hear me, somebody notice me." If this really had any merit to it and I was the one approached to ask the question, I would have agreed and then when John called on me, I would have said,"I was just approached by one of you campain staff to ask you this question. Do you think you will be able to answer it is less than 5 paragraphs?" HAHAHAHAHA

    November 13, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. demwit

    Perhaps the next Billary Administration can give Ms. Gallo-Chasanoff an intership and restore her positive outlook on politics..

    November 13, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. Coach Haughton NH

    This is much to do about nothing. It was a darn good question and I think the girl is just lookin for headlines. The media needs to get some where and have a seat! Ok we all know you media people hate Hillary and Bill. We all know its sweeps week and ya need a headline, but COME ON! GO Hillary! I'm still voting for Biden (Big Smile)

    By the way can anyone name me a 100% HONEST politican?

    Posted By Salita, SC : November 13, 2007 8:45 am

    I can name a 100% DISHONEST candidate...Hillary Clinton

    And does anyone proof of any other democratic campaign doing this, or is it all hearsay?

    November 13, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Tina, Cleveland OH

    Does anyone on this post realize that maybe she isn't the only politician who has planted people in the audience? Um yea, like its never happened before....we just didn't hear about it.

    November 13, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. Clyde-- Ky

    Why is this even a story? You have to have a ticket and sware you are a republican to get in to hear the moron president try to read a speech and you think the questions aren't soft?

    November 13, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. Ford, Whitelake, MI

    She was doing a good job fooling americans.To bad she's not as slick as her husband.

    November 13, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. Mike in Mesa, Mesa Arizona

    This is getting good.....Hillary is no mental powerhouse. I expect to see more of this...can't wait.

    November 13, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. Jim foster

    It is very scary that anyone would vote for her.Looks like CNN has taken away free speech .I see my comment will be reviewed.

    November 13, 2007 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  15. Vince Los Angeles, CA

    I cannot believe all the people making excuses for HRC planting a question in the audience!! I can't believe the excuses about "it's a way of getting your message out there"..... People...WAKE UP!! It's not a matter of "planting the question"'s the principle behind the act.....A town hall meeting is supposed to be a forum where the candidate responds to HONEST QUESTIONS FROM EVERYDAY PEOPLE. If HRC wants to make sure a question is asked.... why not just take a moment out of the questioning and say honestly "Let me ask you all a question"....or "Here something I want to make sure gets mentioned"...... Why make it seem as though someone just "happens" to ask the canned question off-the-cuff....THAT'S what's dishonest about it....

    Obama '08

    November 13, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  16. Vince Los Angeles, CA

    Post Script.....

    and if you believe that HRC "didn't know" the question was planted.......I'VE GOT A BRIDGE TO SELL YOU IN BROOKLYN, NYC!!

    November 13, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. Kay Williams, Downingtown, PA

    This isn't new. When I was in college I interned with ABC News at the Republican Conference in Philly. They were pulling people off the streets, handing them signs and paying them to cheer and wave their signs when their candidate came on stage. It is all for the cameras. I am sure that all the candidates have 'people' to do that for them.

    November 13, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. RM

    #1- if she didn't think it was moral why did she agree voluntarily to ask the question- or is she a plant by the Republicans- please note she said one of the staffers not Hilary did this-
    so who is dishonest- this woman asked a question on her own why didn't she just change it to what she wanted to ask in spite of the staffer at that point there would be little they could have done about it
    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 13, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  19. vincent capo, NY

    Hey Military Wife in FL, Republicans in 2008? Sure.. if you just want to keep watching our soldiers die in Iraq, go ahead and vote republican.

    November 13, 2007 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  20. Marie, Buffalo, NY

    Don't let the media and money dictate your choices. Give Biden a look!

    November 13, 2007 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  21. Biggdawg

    Ok. So she was clearly a double agent, working for one of the other campaigns. Probably Obama's.


    November 13, 2007 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  22. John Kumma Edmonds Washington

    Please Lord , we are in deep doo doo here , give the USA a break , any one of the Democrats but Clinton ! LOL

    November 13, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  23. LP

    Ron Paul 2008.

    November 13, 2007 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  24. Hank, Cleveland, Ohio

    Bush and the Republican party have been doing this for years and years. In fact, one could say that Bush has not been asked publicly an original question, by the public or the press, since he has been president. That this is framed as news is an indictment of the complicity of the press in perpetuating this charade. This is obviously a would-be political hit piece. I question the intelligence, nay, the *sentience* of anyone who would read this article as anything else.

    November 13, 2007 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  25. De'Angelo

    It is Bush's fault that Hillary had to plant questions. It is Bush's fault that she can't give a straight answers on important questions. It is Bush's fault that the young woman must be attacked by Clinton, Inc. It is Bush's fault that Mrs. Clinton has to raise funny money from the Chinese. Man, I hate Bush.

    November 13, 2007 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
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