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. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    It's really sad that people are willing to settle for planted questions. WHO CARES WHO ELSE DOES IT?? Nobody should do it. When any of these people become president, don't you want them answering to the people, instead of some canned hack like the current President. People, take your country back and quit settling for people whose only pursuit is power (aka Clinton).

    Edwards/Obama or Obama/Edwards '08

    November 13, 2007 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. Ken, Houston Tx

    Any of folks that think ANY of the mainstream candidates are going to improve anything in this country are kidding yourselves. Hillary (or Romney, or Giuliani, or Obama) 2008? Please, don't make yourself look foolish. They are ALL political hacks that are part of the problem.

    November 13, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. Wayne, Plymouth Meeting, PA

    Looks to me that Hillary got caught doing something that is common in all of politics. It's also one of the reasons I don't really pay attention to these types of speaches. The real test is the one-on-one debates between the candidates where they need to show that they know their own platform, not just the pre-prepared talking points.

    November 13, 2007 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. RIghtyTighty

    Oh boy! Now we get to watch Hillary and her corrupt media cronies destroy a sophomore college student. Poor Muriel, how naive of her to just want to know "how Hillary's energy plan compares to the other candidates energy plans".

    November 13, 2007 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. John New York, NY

    Although I might be "piling on" with this comment, I should add that in January, Mrs. Clinton held an online "conversation" with voters.

    Frank Rich of the New York Times wrote that the scripted format and easy questions that went right along with her campaign talking points were similar to the "Ask President Bush" events in 2004.

    November 13, 2007 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. Nick, Leonardtown, MD

    Look at her eyes in the clip, she's reading the answer from a piece of paper on the podium! Sure, she didn't know.

    November 13, 2007 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  7. David Branch, Waco, Texas

    Presumably the guy in the Clinton campaign who admitted planting questions was part of the right wing conspiracy as well.

    November 13, 2007 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. John, Blacksburg, Va

    Yet more evidence that Hilary is a corrupt, deceitful human being that will become a complete tyrant when her time is due. A suitable alternative to Bush she is not.

    November 13, 2007 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  9. Lucy, Des Moines Iowa

    This is common practice. I live in Iowa and had the Edwards campaign give me a question to ask. As an Edwards supporter, I happily asked the question. I didn't run to the media or anything. Something tells me this girl wants her 15 minutes of fame.

    November 13, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  10. LeftyLoosey

    Don't say any negative Hillary, in fact, express some Motherly support for Gallo-Chasanoff, we'll take of the rest.... wink, wink.

    November 13, 2007 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  11. Owen Rumble, Huntsville, AL

    Not surprised at all, if she is elected we will deserve what we get.

    November 13, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  12. joe, knoxville, tn

    Jimenez, your comment below, is complete stupid, you must be a socialist, dumbass.

    I wonder how much they paid her off to talk? And who is to say this girl is even saying the actual truth. There is her side – their side and truth. Clinton doesn't need questions to be planted. She is exceptional! She's gonna win. She will be our next president. And, she will make history.

    Posted By Jimenez – San Antonio – Texas : November 13, 2007 7:17 am

    November 13, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. Robert Sawyer, New York, New York

    I'm shocked, shocked to learn the Clinton campaign controls access to their candidate and would even go so far as planting questions. However, more disturbing to me is what looks like a teleprompter embedded in Ms. Clinton's podium. I can't say with authority that such a devise is there, but I would direct your attention to Senator Clinton eye movements as she answers the question, it seems she has already rehearsed. It does appear someone is feeding her answers to questions, whether they're planted or not.

    November 13, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  14. Mariel, Seattle, WA

    Stay tuned for Hollywoood's next poliflick titled "The Stepford Candidate", followed by "The Stepford Bimbo's." You can rest assured that Slick Willy is behind all this manipulation. Hillary is America's most subservient wife. Think about it!

    November 13, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  15. JB Boston MA

    Bret from Santa Monica


    News for you all, she is not running against Bush. Besides, why would we want an administration with similiar morals and ethics? Let's get beyond this political administration.


    November 13, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. Nick

    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.
    Posted By Once a Republican (I am sorry), but always an American : November 13, 2007 9:18 am

    I'm confused by your response. Yes, Bush does the same thing. That's exactly the point! I don't like Bush, and don't want another Bush in the White House. Also you talk like Hillary won't put lobbyist first – she's the only democrat front runner that takes money from lobbyists! Where on earth do you get the idea she won't put them first?

    November 13, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. Greg, Houston

    If you didn't think it was right ,then you shouldn't have participated by accepting the question. Better yet, just ask another question. Your 15 minutes of fame are up. Move on to important issues.

    November 13, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  18. John - Lansdale, PA

    Umm, do some of you posters realize that Bush/Cheney are not running for any office in this election. Why is everything that the Democrat candidates screw-up on compared to George Bush?

    November 13, 2007 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  19. Randy S. Lawton, OK

    Mike in PA: You are correct. This shouldn't be about Foster. But it should be about anything that pertains to the Clintons' character (yes, both of them) and Foster passes that criterion.


    I begin to understand why Hillary supporters are Hillary supporters. They have so much in common; deny culpability, point fingers, state it never happened or ignore it and hope it will go away.

    Certainly the qualities we all want in our Commander in Chief, doesn't everyone agree?

    November 13, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  20. Jim, Columbus, OH

    Hillary Clinton is a fraud and this report of her responding to planted questions is just another confirmation of that.

    November 13, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  21. Doug, Stanhope, New Jersey

    I'm sorry, but I'm just not at all surprised that hillary or ANY candidate would have some questions ready to go at this type of event. I don't think it's dishonest for Hillary or any candidate to say, "Hey, I have a position on the environment that I want to get out there, make sure I get a few questions about it." It's politics, folks!

    November 13, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  22. Bruce Seattle wa.

    You can tell that she knew the answer to the question as she has to read the answer. This makes me sick. When is she going to come clean on what SHE will do. The question I would like her to answer or her partner Billy boy is. What did William Bennent mean when he addressed the Press Club after the Impeachment hearings. He said if the people really kneww everything they would not just ask Bill Clinton to resign , but they would ask for his citizenship.
    This is what really bothers me about her

    November 13, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  23. David Branch, Waco, Texas

    To one a republican yada yadda

    Many thanks for the enlightenment about George Bush, but in relation to the 2008 campaign, your point is what exactly?

    November 13, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  24. Lost faith

    what more proof does everyone need that the clintons and scandals go hand in hand? She's a friggin lawyer. Go ahead and blindly believe that she truly cares about the American working class and not her own interests.

    November 13, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  25. Bob, Chicago, IL

    What a shame. As a Republican, I was hoping she would be against us in the election. But now that normal intelligent democrats are reminded of the darker side of Clinton-style politics, I can't imagine the majority of them buying into it again.

    November 13, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
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