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. mark, Shreveport, La

    Typical Clinton politics:
    1) Do something shifty
    2) Deny and deflect
    3) Destory the evidence, take the fifth, or flee the country
    4) Attack the accuser (like the hillary workers on this forum are doing!)

    Did we learn nothing from Bill's presidency? Hillary sure did!

    November 13, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. Will, NYC

    She's looking more presidential every day. Fielding softball questions and staging every aspect of meetings with the public is exactly what our current president does!

    November 13, 2007 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  3. JACK DIGI

    WHY DID THEY NEED TO PLANT QUESTIONS? WAS CHRIS MATHEWS NOT AVAILABLE ?

    November 13, 2007 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  4. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    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 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. Mike, Denver, CO

    Yes, all politicians do this type of thing....it just reinforces the fact that most of them will do anything to get elected, or maintain their position.
    Hillary comes across as disingenuous and slimy...much like her husband. We obviously don't know what actually happened in this particular situation, but I would certainly tend to believe the questioner more than anyone associated with Hillary's campaign.
    The REAL question is: What does Hillary bring to the table? What are her qualifications to be president, other than just wanting to be the first female president? How will she be better than anyone else in the field? To date, she hasn't answered any of those questions. She is appealing only to those knee-jerk far left and feminist supporters who aren't really able to analyze beyond the surface. If elected, she will be a disaster for this country, not because she is democrat or female, but because of the type of person she is....

    November 13, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  6. Sue, Midland, MI

    So she disagreed with being told what to ask, did it anyway, and NOW she's whining? Please. If you had a chance to ask a question, why wouldn't you ask your own question? And where is the evidence that there were other planted questions? No one else has come forward. This is stupid, and I do believe Hillary did not know-she would not approve of this tactic because she plays the game well enough to know it would be found out. And it isn't even like it was some easy question to begin with...this is not news, CNN, per usual.

    November 13, 2007 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. Arnie Weiss NY, NY

    They all do it! Hillary just got caught. Politics is a dirty business. Vote on candidates on what they've done, not what they say they will do or how many statistics they've memorized.

    November 13, 2007 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. Matt, Manchester, CT

    Wow, this campaign certainly is centering around a "poor Hillary" approach taken by her supporters whenever she's criticized. If a college sophomore is someone causing her great concern, I'd hate to see her dealing with opponents from a hostile nation, etc. For a woman who is trying to run as the toughest candidate, try given the victim approach the boot.

    November 13, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  9. theresa lv

    Isn't it just like the Clinton robots to blame the whistleblower and call her names. The poor Clintons are always the victims. We had 8 years of these 2 "victims" and their soap opera lives.

    There are important things that need to be done to straighten out the mess we're in and the Clintons spend way too much time on their own problems which they create through their dishonest, self-serving actions.

    I thank the young lady for bringing this to the attention of the citizens of this country. She may have made a mistake by accepting their offer, but she corrected it. Thank you again.

    November 13, 2007 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  10. Once a Republican (I am sorry), but always an American

    The world has come to an end, oh my god, a question was planted in the crowd.

    Were the participants denied enter to the event even though they held a ticket. Were participants refused entry because they had on a tee shirt on that was not approved by the party. Were people denied entry because they had on a pro-Republican tee shirt. Were attendees prescreened to ensure that they were true blue Democrates. Were the only questions permitted those that had been "preapproved" and "prescreened" by event organizers.

    GROW UP, if you the above tactics they were carried out in normal day to day gatherings for George W Bush during his campaigns and then some. If you noted seldom does an event that Bush speaks at not far into the category of private event, sponsored by a private group, that so sorry, make the rules for the crowd.

    All I can say, is for this to become a major issue, there are people out there that are really scared that they will wake up in 12 months and discover President elect Clinton preparing for HER term in office with FIRSTMAN Bill.

    I fully intend on voting for Clinton, no more right wing fanatics, no more canidates that put the lobbiest of K street above the needs of the nation.

    If this planted question gave a college sophmore a negative outlook on the election procress, then I would recommend that she take a few American history classes so she can distinguish between dirty politics and politics.

    November 13, 2007 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  11. JAMES DUCKWORTH

    TYPICAL POLITICAL MUMBO JUMBO
    TELL THEM WHAT THEY WAN'T TO HEAR
    THEN SCREW THEM
    THE WHOLE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS ALL ABOUT SOCIALISM , FREEBIES TO THE RICH

    November 13, 2007 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  12. Michael Speilberg

    HILLARY CLINTON IS THE SMARTEST AND ONLY CHOICE IN 2008, we are tired of these old men!

    CLINTON FOR FOR PRESIDENT

    November 13, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. Ethel, Des Moines IA

    Why am I not surprised about Hillary? Maybe she should run with George Bush as her VP because they are birds of a feather! Glad some people are finally coming out and speaking the truth.

    November 13, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  14. Tim, Washington DC

    This is as bad as the fake FEMA press conference. She does realize she's way in front and just needs to keep from tripping herself, right?

    November 13, 2007 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  15. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    It's simple fellow Democrats:

    -Do you want think the country is on the right track and you want more of the same, vote Hillary.

    -Do you think the country is on the wrong track and want to see real change that puts your priorities ahead of lobbyists and the military machine, vote Edwards or Obama.

    November 13, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  16. Tony Cambridge, MA

    For the smartest woman in the world, she's pretty stupid.

    November 13, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  17. Mike Nakagita, Green Bay, Wisconsin

    Yup. Just like Nixon all over again.

    November 13, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  18. John, Detroit, Michigan

    ALL politicians do this. don't act surprised.

    frankly, i don't believe this girl, because if she had such moral opposition to asking a "plant" question, then why did she do it anyways?

    also, i don't believe the clinton campaign would be this sloppy... carrying around a binder with questions in it. please.

    November 13, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  19. Steven, Atlanta GA

    This is nothing new and something that every other campaign does and has done for decades. Bill Clinton was answering planted questions back in 1994 at the 50th anniversary of D-Day ceremonies onboard the USS George Washington. Same binder, same sort of staffer briefing.

    November 13, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  20. hillarylover NY NY

    The funny part about this whole debacle is the people who are questioning Senator Clinton's honesty were not going to vote for her anyway. They already had their mind made up last year when rumors were circulating that Hillary would actually run. I personally don't see what the big deal is with this practice. People want to say this whole event that Hillary attended was fake–but what about all the other Iowans that attended the event? All of their questions clearly could not have been staged. Are they fake too? The answer is no.

    I really question the young lady who "agreed" to ask the Senator from New York the question anyway. If she felt it was so wrong, in a show of defiance since she knew she was going to be called on–she could have asked Hillary the question she originally intended to ask her. Instead she chose to go along with it only so she could have a story to tell. This is what people should really be looking at.

    November 13, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  21. MW, Central TX

    Why shouldn't Vince Foster come up? He's just one of many questionable deaths close to the Clintons. Hillary was the first person in his office after he died.
    If they want to plant questions, that's fine – just don't lie about it. And you can be sure they won't plant any questions about Vince Foster or the Rose Law Firm, or Jennifer Flowers, or Monica, or the White House Travel Agency, or.....

    November 13, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  22. Dusty, Austin Texas

    Is anyone suprised?

    You have seen what Hillary does when real questions are asked. She folds !!!

    She has no experience in anything. She has never ran a city, state, company or anything. How could she answer anything but planted questions?

    November 13, 2007 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. L... Oklahoma City, OK

    News Flash!!! No one is honestly representing you!! These are politians... you pick the one with the best resume and that tells you what you want to hear and has the best chance of getting that done... People who think that honesty has anything to do with this is delusional... History has proved this over and over... If you do not like Clinton, that is ok.. BUT your canidate has lied about Something.. Don't be naive....

    November 13, 2007 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  24. MCAJE, Silverdale, WA

    How honest can she be, she was at a Hillary Clinton rally.

    November 13, 2007 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  25. Michael, Houston, TX

    The really sad part is that Hillary was unable to answer even the questions that she had planted in the audience. What a joke.

    November 13, 2007 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
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