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. David, New York, New York

    So what? EVERY candidate does this.. since time imemorial? Look back to 2000, george bush ran "town hall meetings" with ENTIRELY republican STAFF members.. this is NORMAL... its called "tricking you dumb americans into voting" and it works.

    November 13, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Jonathan, Detroit, Michigan

    I think, again, some of you are missing the point. It's not that her husband had an affair in the White House, it's the fact that he lied under oath about it. It's the same with Hillary. It's more than just having the question planted, it's the fact she is lying about planting it.

    November 13, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Victor St. Louis, Missouri

    Who cares whether the question was planted? She has the right not to even ask the question but she proceeded anyway. She is dishonest by asking the question only to talk about it to the media who are hell bent on bringing down Senator Clinton.

    This lady should shut up now that she has exhausted her fifteen minutes of fame. Let us talk about Iraq, Health care; energy and other issues that affect us all. I am glad that Senator Clinton is running for the office of the President of the United State. The same for Obama. Where are the minority candidates in the GOP?

    November 13, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. Sam Rolf, Fairfax, VA

    The fact that Hillary is totally scripted is not a suprise to anyone. Those who think she is 'genuine' are fools. Why do you think she avoids the major talk shows? She is a pure politician. As for the "truth"...the campaign admitted it.

    November 13, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. bruce clements, tampa, fl.

    You can lead politicians to water, but you can't make them THINK!

    Hillary is a farce; Bill was a farce; now the voters are getting the TRUTH before the election-IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!

    November 13, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. Jason, Indianapolis IN

    How is this incident any different than the recent FEMA "conference"?

    You have questions asked that you know the answers to so that you appear intelligent.

    Unfortunately you end up looking stupid.

    November 13, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. Bobby, Columbia MD

    Hey, Tony, Tulsa, OK
    The only ones that claim that she is being too hawkish and right-wing on some issues is coming from the very same (socialist) media that backs her anyway. I like for you to name just one issue she is to the right and or hawkish.

    November 13, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. Jim, Carlilse MA

    Hillary's need to script her Q&A sessions exposes an insecurity that is the hallmark of a bureaucrat, not a leader. A person directed by polls rather than principles.

    November 13, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. g purcell, atlanta, ga

    I am just trying to figure out who is really going to vote for Hillary? I mean we had eight polarized years, why in our right mind would we go back to that? It seems like all these reports bring credibility to the scandals and integrity issues we had weekly with the Clintons...please America, not again...please!!!!

    November 13, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  10. Matt, Austin Tx

    The Clintons once again weary the country with claims of "everybody does it". We all lie. We all cheat. I'm sick of it. Give us someone who will lead us to a higher standard, not to the gutter!

    November 13, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. Pilar, Houston Texas

    This isn't a surprise. John Kerry came to the University of Houston on Earth Day while campaigning and he himself promised the crowd to have a Q&A session where the audience could ask him questions. He gave a hour long speech outside on a very hot spring day and then was hurried off to his limo. No questions, just posturing for the cameras in Bush's home state. I was planning on voting for him until that moment. So, I voted for Bush. I still believe better to have Bush then a guy that would be that blantantly deceptive.

    November 13, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. Josh, Bisbee AZ

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

    Probably. For sure if you round to the nearest 5%. Ron Paul.

    November 13, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. martina, princeton wv

    Did anyone have any doubt that this is how town hall meetings are conducted, by either party? I'm not gullible enough to believe that the audicence participants aren't vetted beforehand and given scripts to follow.
    Kudos to this young woman for outting the process

    November 13, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. David Branch, waco, Texas

    So the lying scheming control freak is flaming out at the first hurdle. I really thought she would stagger through (on her knees probably) into 2008

    November 13, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. Frank, Weston, Fl

    Fake, fake, and more fake. If you like Hillary you are a very calculating, mentally ill, and unreflecting person.

    November 13, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. Beckster


    We must unite against these attackers who criticize our Lady. We must defeat those that wish to express their negative opinions towards us. And then when we have succeeded and have control of the Politburo we can take their guns, their Gods, and all of their property. And then we will tell them that they are happy and they will be happy.

    November 13, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. JC Topeka, KS

    Boy, look at all of the holier than thou Southern Democrats, I mean Republicans getting irrate at something their party has been doing for years. Someones running scared.

    November 13, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |


    November 13, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. Dan, Columbia, SC

    As I read through these comments, I notice some are comparing this situation to what goes on with the current administration, as if to justify this behavior. As a moderate Republican, I abhor how this administration controlls the message and limits the inclusion of dissent. Just because it happens, doesn't make it acceptable. It is wrong, regardless of which party or candidate condones it.

    November 13, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  20. wayne of Augusta, GA

    Every question asked of this woman in these events are pre-approved and her answers are scripted and tested on focus groups before she utters one syllable. When her opponents criticize her, they are pilling on and are mistreating a woman. If this woman was to be elected and she go up against our nations enemies, she will be eaten alive unless someone else does it for her.

    November 13, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  21. Paul G., Boston, Ma

    If Hillary is so honest and forth coming, why are her White House transcripts locked up until after the 2008 elections?
    That is what you call controlled press...

    November 13, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. Rich Teraci, Alpine, Utah

    Please..... plain and simple Clinton was caught red-handed "fixing" the questions and it's plain wrong.

    "Oh that's a great question. I get asked that all the time by students" she says. Well that's surprising since you give them the questions.

    Stop making excuses for her. She's too stuck in the old political world of trickery to get what she wants.

    November 13, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. Darren - Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

    It's amazing to see how quickly the Clinton Kool-Aid drinkers just can't believe anything bad about her. Just the same way they can't possibly say anything good about the President. It's like listening to a cultist. "Don't confuse me with the facts." These are the same idiots who still believe the discredited Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame's story. Lemmings.

    November 13, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  24. Kelly O

    Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff,
    I totally understand why you now have a negative outlook on politics. I have been disenchanted with politics (and politicans) for years. This was until I discovered Ron Paul who is running for president. I suggest that you look into Ron Paul's campaign. He would NEVER put a plant in the audience or ask you to do something that you are uncomfortable with. Take a look online. Google him.

    November 13, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  25. Sick of the lies, Mt.

    More Clinton lies!!! When will America see through the Clinton fog? This is not a Republican/Democrat fight either. Most Dems are tolerable, but the Clinton's give me break! She wants to manage the greatest country on earth when she can't manage her marriage or campaign. Where are all the woman that think she has no back bone for dealing with her cheating husband? So Guilliani's been married a couple times at least he never cheated on any wives! She's a nasty woman running on air for a platform. She has no more right or ability to be the commander and chief then Bozo the clown!

    November 13, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
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