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. Paul, Jacksonville, FL

    Muriel – Your fancy name can't hide the fact that you're 30 pounds overweight and a limelight seeker. This "fame" is a negative event in you life – go to the library and study science.

    November 13, 2007 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Paranoid in Peoria, Illinois

    She is obviously a GOP mole sent in to cause what trouble she could. It is all part of the "vast right wing conspiracy" we know so much about. Oops, I gotta go, I think someone is following me!

    November 13, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. Fred

    This is very typical on all sides of the aisle. Don't forget George W. Bush's phony reporter plant who lobbed softballs at the prez.

    Astonishing that anyone is surprised or outraged.

    November 13, 2007 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. T.P. Manchester, NH

    Planting questions to candidates, is a normal practice, be it republican or democrat. I'm sure Mitt, and Rudy's people, as well as Barack and John Edwards' people have all done the same thing, which is why there is no outcry among them.
    But the republican party is at it again, and its party members(who are so easily led like lambs to a slaughter)are once again swayed by their efforts. The republicans know they can't beat Hillary, so they need to take every little thing and blow it way out of proportion. After all they know they can beat Barack.

    November 13, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. Frank tulsa, ok

    "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".

    Darren I absolutely agree with your first sentence. But your second sentence begs the question on whether you're drinking the White House kool-aid. The reasons Dems can't say anything good is because the Repub kool-aid drinkers actually defend The President's clearly failed policies.

    Whoever says that Dems are drinking the kool-aid are right. But the problem with that, Darren, is that it's the 'Repub pot' calling the 'Dem kettle' black.

    November 13, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. David, Latrobe, PA

    If she get nominated, I plan on voting for "whoever" is running against her. No more Clintons for me, thanks.

    November 13, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. Kevin, Philadelphia, PA

    Doesn't surprise me, she'll do what she can to avoid any real questions. What I'd like someone to ask is does she believe all these women from Bill's past are lying or is the champion of women's rights choosing to remain married to a serial molester?

    November 13, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. Janice, Boston MA

    I was at a Bill Richardson event in New Hampshire, and the handlers were also giving people in the audience questions to ask – I think all the campaigns do this – it may be the only way to get an intelligent question asked at some of these events

    November 13, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. Jada, Seabrook Texas

    Her mind is "jello jello jello" ......."I don't recall.....I don't recall.....jello jello jello."

    November 13, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. M.Tommassello Sarasota,FL

    I don't see much difference between this practice and the Bush/Republican practice of screening and selecting only supporters to allow into their staged "town meetings". Let's face's dog eat dog out there...about time the Democrats have decided to swim with the sharks.

    November 13, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. chris sc

    global warming issue = terror

    November 13, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. Chris from Des Moines, Iowa

    Hillary = lies and mistrust

    Obama = truth and hope

    November 13, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. Bob, Roxboro, NC

    Does anyone feel that the caliber of dirty trick perpetrated on the voting public is a reflection of how much credit the candidates give us? I sure do!

    This whole thing is exasperating.

    Lawmakers cloud issues to the point of non-recognition,, medical practitioners operate businesses rather than practices,,businesses pursue profit to the point of treason,,Good God,, when will this formerly great nation come to it's senses?

    November 13, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Grand Rapids, MI

    OK – they got their hand caught in the cookie jar once again – nothing new here. This incident is relatively innoculous based on their history. Remove the mask that Hillary wears and you will meet the sister of Hugo Chavez. The end justifies the means

    November 13, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. Ryan, Boston

    Hillary isn't a frontrunner anymore. Don't worry America, mainstream news might have picked thier candidates, but we don't decide til the elections.

    November 13, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Cody Harding, Kinsley, KS

    Why does her stoy have so many holes? No one else notices a man in a suit with a binder talking to this woman, who felt uncomfortable about it? No witnesses to help her story, and at a crowded area, no less.

    The only college student at the Q&A session? And even though she feels uncomfortable, she still asks the question? Highly unlikely.

    And the fact that the story made a next-day appearance in the paper means that she didn't hold back at all, which conflicts with her earlier comments.

    It smells like a planted story, another widely used tactic in the political game. And prepping answers for the crowd? That's been around for longer than this generation of voters, people. It's a tried and true tactic, and one that other presidents have used to great effect.

    As for all the people who don't like Ms. Clinton, then don't vote for her. Don't detract from those who do support her, and don't criticize other's opinions on the subject. It's childish and simply proves your own stupidity.

    Oh, and stop calling her Hillary. She was voted into the Senate, and she is still leading in the candidate polls, so she's doing a lot better than most people. The least she deserves is Ms. Clinton.

    November 13, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Den, Dallas, TX

    Gee, sounds like something Bush would do, oh wait, that's right, it is exactly what Bushy does.

    November 13, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. Dick Tuck

    Remember when Billy promsed us "the most ethical administration ever" ...
    the excuse that "everyone does it" doesn't square with that, does it?

    November 13, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. Steve , Manalapan New Jersey

    First off: For all you PRESIDENT BUSH Haters. The blogg is about Hillary Clinton and here pre formed questions. So stop bringing President Bush into it. You can't blame him for Hillary’s mistakes. Hillary Clinton as well as Bill Clinton is notorious for telling lies. This college student has every right to speak up. God bless her for doing so. Lets stop pretending that politians are better than they apper.They can only do so much. I would have rather seen Hillary stumble on an unrehearsed question than lie about the whole incident. She could have told the student (if she didn’t have an answer) that she would look into it. That's what I do with my students. People tend to see through you. They know when you are a phony. Hillary came to my non profit after school center on day when I wasn't there. I asked the children in my group, “So ho is Senator Clinton?" And on student said, "She's such a phony." I replied:" Why/" The student replied:" Because her smile is fake!" Folks this is a 7 year old student who already can determine a fake smile from a sincere smile. What does this tell you?

    November 13, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. Jim, Lemont, IL

    Of course, it's the "Oprah effect". All of them are learning from Oprah who almost scripts her audience. She has people with a certain look sit in camera friendly locations, people are prepped on questions etc.

    November 13, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. Wayne H., Houston, Tx

    This is a mirror of what a Hillary Presidency would be like. Constant sly of hand and dishonesty. As far as I'm concerned Hillary is out!

    November 13, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  22. Mad Hungarian, Long Valley NJ

    Hey... Clinton Happens. Free government cheese for everybody.

    November 13, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. Lori Aztlan, Chicago, Il.

    If she is the "Smartest Woman" in America; why does she have to cheat on off the cuff questions? Perhaps it is time to acknowledge that the whole Clinton era was smoke and mirrors, and their lack of integrity has brought us
    to our current mess. So, if they caused
    it, how can they solve it?

    November 13, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  24. Tom S., Florida

    Save all your time, efforts, and hot air. The next president of the United States will be Mitt prediction and I'm stickin' to it!

    November 13, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  25. Chris, Corpus Christi, Texas

    Doesn't this entire ordeal remind you of an episode from [b][i]The Simpsons[/i][/b], in which gubernatorial candidate "Mr. Burns" has a question prepared in advance for Lisa Simpson to ask. Lisa leaves the room feeling like she "[i]sold her soul to the devil[/i]." Hmmm...I wonder what role Mrs. Clinton would be in that episode?

    November 13, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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