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. Aaron Miller, Nashville, TN.

    Wow, planted questions.....kinda sounds like she wouldnt have to much trouble planting other information to decieve the American people. After all her husband was guilty of pergury and the Clintons have a history of scandle...... Well, at least things are staying consistant. Honesty, that is the true way to win an election and win the hearts of the American people.

    November 13, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. Vic Novosad

    Hey, enough already! What's wrong with so-called "plants" asking questions of general interest to the public. Is that any different than George Bush's people furnishing him with a list of journalists to call on during a press conference? Personally, this is the biggest nothing to arise about Hillary Clinton. I want to know how she and all the other candidates feel about the environment, without the question, are we to know how she stands?

    November 13, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. Dena, Jacksonville, Florida

    I can't believe the people blaming the student! She behaved with much more integrity than Hillary. I thought the older generation was supposed to teach morals to the younger generation.. NOT the other way around. And, by the way, saying "everyone does it" does not make it right. A major culprit in this whole fiasco is the press, who lets candidates get away this nonsense. They know the truth and should be reporting it. The press presents Hillary (and Rudy, et al) in much the same way as they present Paris Hilton. The candidates pose and the press snaps photos and reports on how wonderful they are. And we, the voters, are so blinded by party loyalty that we're letting them get away with it. A people deserve the government they get…

    November 13, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Julie Sparks, St. Louis, MO

    Political campaigns on both sides of the aisle have used this method for many years. People, please – where is the outrage over President Bush's so called town meetings and general events? No one is even allowed to enter his events until the staff is assured they're in lock step with this administration.

    November 13, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. BILL DWYER MARION IL.

    TALK ABOUT PLANTED QUESTIONS. I JUST WATCHED AN INTERVIEW ON CNN WHERE THE SISTER OF A OBAMA STAFF WORKER WAS POSEING QUESTIONS TO OBAMAS WIFE.NOW TELL ME .HMMMMMMMM

    November 13, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. Middle-aged, middle-income, middle-of-the-road midwestern woman

    Forget the scary (but impressive) political machine, Chinese money laundering, Socialist playbook, and a lack of executive experience (not to mention the fringey rumors of murder, drugs, and rape)...
    Can we stand Hillary's screeching (screaming, nagging) VOICE for four years??? geeezzz – I'm a woman and I can't stand the pitch and delivery...I can only imagine what she sounds like to men! And the content....Her speeches sound like bad term papers - I just want to get out a red pen and write "TOO CLICHE!!" She seems to think if she screams B.S. like a maniacal dictator, people will listen. ??? Howard Dean was ridiculed for his YEEHAW, but Hillary sounds that way every appearance. I can't stomach the condescension that her speeches belie. OH...And how about the Kentucky-fried fake Southern Black accent? Imagine if a Republican did that!!
    I don't think a majority of people will vote for her, but that doesn't mean I don't think she will win - the Clintons won't be stopped.

    November 13, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. Doug, Stanhope, NJ

    To John In Edison:
    I con only respond to your comments by wondering what it must be like to live n a constant state of fear. Fear of Hillary. Fear of Iran. Fear of "socialists". Fear of another terrorist attack. Sounds to me like the neocons have you right where they want you. Perhps you could explain, though, exactly how you will "hold liberals responsible" if there is another attack. And, I also have to ask, what was the "WTS attack you referenced"? World...Trade...Something???

    November 13, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. John Stein Nashville TN

    I think the more that we find out about the Clintons and the Bush Family we should pass a law that neither family can ever have anyone in the White House again! It is going to take us until HELL freezes over to fix the mess of the last 16 years. GOD help us if we are stupid enough to give them more...

    November 13, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  9. Greg, Fullerton, CA

    Can somebody please explain why Hillary is the front-runner? I weep for this nation if it's got enough people that will vote this corrupt phony and socialist into office next November.

    November 13, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. castra regina

    I would not put anything past the Clinton gang along with the poison dwarf Woflson. The woman of many accents, yes, no, maybe is finally getting her due after the media gave her a free ride for the past twenty years.

    November 13, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. JoeBob, Billings, Montana

    I think I might vote for OBAMA. He is the only one that comes across genuine. I'm tired of LIARS, that is why I can't vote for the Clintons.

    November 13, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. Jennifer, Louisville, KY

    This girl just wants attention. If she didn't want to ask the question, she should have excused herself. Only a fool would believe that politics is anything less than a choreographed production.

    November 13, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Remember the press secretary at FEMA resigned over this exact same trick. What a low-down career politician tactic. DO NOT EXCUSE IT, even if you're a fan. It's lousy.

    November 13, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. C.T. SA Texas

    Is anybody actually LISTENING to what Hillary is saying? Are her supporters so blinded by their hatred of Bush and the "rich" (many of which are liberals, by-the-way), that they can't recognize a socialist when they see it?
    When referring to capitalism Nikita Khrushchev once said... "we will bury you". Well, Hillary's carrying a big shovel.

    November 13, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. HH Kingston NY

    A page right out of Nixon-Agnew campaign of 1972 where they paid ditzes to shout out questions at press conferences and then had the right wing goon squad beat up the questioners. Made for great T.V.

    November 13, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  16. ps, raleigh nc

    Obama, with, almost no national experience and tried to dodge his way out of Tim Russert's war question by blaming his 2004 opinions on Kerry-Edwards. Edwards, meanwhile, has been repackaging himself (and his $400 per salon appointment hair) since he moved from Tenn. to N.C. Any thinking person knows why the national media is giving these two free passes while attacking Clinton on something as irrelevant as a canned question. She's smart, articulate, well-funded, and too experienced to bring a knife to a gun fight. Canned questions? We'll see about those in the fall debates.

    November 13, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. Mike, NewARK, DE

    Anybody who thinks that this is a unique situation is naive. It's deplorable but not uncommon amongst either party. This girl could have declined to do this or just asked her own question when she was called on.

    November 13, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. John, Las Vegas, NV

    I see a lot of people questioning this young woman's honesty. No, not questioning it...attacking it. If she had been raped, would you also be attacking her and saying she deserved it instead of going after the rapist? Next question, what are you going to say if more people come out and admit they too were asked to be plants with specific questions OR if that binder turns up with all the questions in it? Don't any of you who are attacking this young woman not think it a little odd that the Clinton campaign has made no attempt whatsoever to find out who the staffer was that approached this woman, or to find that binder with the questions in it, and have that ONE staffer come forward...unless maybe that staffer has information they don't want the press to hear? Shades of Bill Clinton! I can hear Hillary saying "I did not have a planted question relationship with that woman." Don't you dare smear that young woman just to save Hillary. The Clintons have gotten too many passes on honesty by their supporters, and it has to stop.

    November 13, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Mike DuBose Daphne Al.

    What did Hillary know and when did she know it? Are we to believe the smartest woman in politics knows nothing? I am still waiting for Hillary to appologize for the slanderous accusations she made about a "vast right wing conspiracy" she also knew nothing about that affair. I beleive she is either the dumbest rube in politics or the biggest liar.

    November 13, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. Gary Helm, West Des Moines, IA

    Hillary is such a power hungry fraud. Take the polls, promise what the polls say the voters want, get in office and the voters will forget what she said....then she will push her REAL agenda. God help us.

    November 13, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. Dante, Pittsburgh, PA

    As a lifelong Democrat I am appalled at this dishonesty. She won't release her archived records and the Clinton library has also stalled, now saying her records won't be released until after the election. What a farce. I will still vote Democrat, but I would never vote for her.

    November 13, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. The D, Toledo, OH

    Of course Clinton doesn't know anything about the planted questions...she doesn't know anything about ANY of the numerous scandals she's involved in. Also, it's amazing to see the caliber of her supporters on this blog! No wonder they don't "see" any scandal associated with Clinton!!!

    November 13, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. Howard Yates Peoria, IL

    This prpactice is OK as long as foreign leaders will tell us in advance what they will do before they do it, so we can be prepared with teh right response.

    How is this any different from the "phony news conference" FEMA held?

    What a sad commentary on the lengths unprincipled people will go to to look "credible".

    November 13, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Rick Aztlan, Chicago, Il.

    A review of the tape shows the obvious
    fact that Ms. Clinton expected that
    question and even read the begining of the answer. Anyone who votes for her is
    voting for her husband, and we all know
    what a chunk of work he is. So,if you
    tell the lie long enough it becomes the
    truth. Hail to president Mr. and Ms.
    Clintons who have made being a liar acceptable! Because as Democrats we are too stupid to change.

    November 13, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Arthur Salcido, Fort Worth, TX

    Questions should be reviewed so that people don't ask stupid questions like "Do you wear brief or thong underware?"

    November 13, 2007 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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