Clinton campaign fed student question in Iowa

Discussion in 'Politics' started by hapaboy, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Student describes how she became a Clinton plant

    Story Highlights:
    --Student says Clinton staffer showed her a binder with about eight questions

    --"College student" in brackets before top question, student says

    --Campaign: Clinton "did not know which questioners she was calling on"

    --Student said she was not the only one told what to ask

    GRINNELL, Iowa (CNN) -- The college student who was told what question to ask at one of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign events says "voters have the right to know what happened" and she wasn't the only one who was planted.

    In an exclusive on-camera interview with CNN, Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff, a 19-year-old sophomore at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, said that giving anyone specific questions to ask is "dishonest," and the whole incident has given her a negative outlook on politics.

    Gallo-Chasanoff, whose story was first reported in the campus newspaper, 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 the Democratic presidential hopeful gave in Newton, Iowa, on November 6.

    "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 Monday night.

    "'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." Watch the student describe how she was approached »

    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."

    Topping that sheet of paper was the following: "As a young person, I'm worried about the long-term effects of global warming. How does your plan combat climate change?"

    And while she said she would have rather used her own question, Gallo-Chasanoff said she generally didn't have a problem asking the campaign's because she "likes to be agreeable," adding that since she told the staffer she'd ask their pre-typed question she "didn't want to go back on [her] word."

    Clinton campaign spokesman Mo Elleithee said Clinton had "no idea who she was calling on."

    "This is not acceptable campaign process moving forward. We've taken steps to ensure that it never happens again," she said in a written response to CNN.

    Gallo-Chasanoff wasn't so sure.

    "I don't know whether Hillary knew what my question was going to be, but it seemed like she knew to call on me because there were so many people, and ... I was the only college student in that area," she said.

    In a separate statement in response to the campus article, the campaign also added, "On this occasion a member of our staff did discuss a possible question about Senator Clinton's energy plan at a forum. ... This is not standard policy and will not be repeated again."

    Gallo-Chasanoff may have some doubts about that one as well.

    "After the event," she said, "I heard another man ... talking about the question he asked, and he said that the campaign had asked him to ask that question."

    The man she references prefaced his question by saying that it probably didn't have anything to do with energy, and then posed the following: "I wonder what you propose to do to create jobs for the middle-class person, such as here in Newton where we lost Maytag."

    A Maytag factory in Newton recently closed, forcing hundreds of people out of their jobs.

    During the course of the late-night interview on Grinnell's campus, Gallo-Chasanoff also told CNN that the day before the school's newspaper, Scarlet and Black, printed the story, she wanted the reporter to inform the campaign out of courtesy to let them know it would be published.

    She said the "head of publicity for the campaign," a man whose name she could not recall, had no factual disputes with the story. But, she added, a Clinton intern spoke to her to say the campaign requests she "not talk about" the story to any more media outlets and that if she did she should inform a staffer.

    "I'm not under any real obligation to do that, and I haven't talked to [the campaign] anymore," Gallo-Chasanoff said, adding that she also doesn't plan to.

    "If what I do is come and just be totally truthful, then that's all anyone can ask of me, and that's all I can ask of myself. So I'll feel good with what I've done. I'll feel like I've done the right thing."

    The Clinton campaign's acknowledgment that it planted a question re-enforces a widely held criticism of the senator -- that she is not entirely honest, said Bill Schneider, CNN's senior political analyst.

    "It's the same criticism often made of her husband," Schneider said. "Most Americans never felt Bill Clinton was honest and trustworthy, even when he got elected in 1992 -- with only 43 percent of the vote. His critics called him 'Slick Willy.' ... Will her critics start referring to the New York senator as `Slick Hillary?'"

    Asked if this experience makes her less likely to support Clinton's presidential bid, Gallo-Chasanoff, an undecided voter, said, "I think she has a lot to offer, but I -- this experience makes me look at her campaign a little bit differently."

    "The question and answer sessions -- especially in Iowa -- are really important. That's where the voters get to ... have like a real genuine conversation with this politician who could be representing them."

    While she acknowledged "it's possible that all campaigns do these kind of tactics," she said it still doesn't make it right.

    "Personally I want to know that I have someone who's honest representing me."

    Gallo-Chasanoff's story comes at a time when a second person has also come forward with a similar one. Geoffrey Mitchell of Hamilton, Illinois, a town located on the Iowa border, told CNN the Clinton campaign also wanted him to ask a certain question at an Iowa event in April.

    "He asked me if I would ask Sen. Clinton about ways she was going to confront the president on the war in Iraq, specifically war funding," said Geoffrey Mitchell, a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois. "I told him it was not a question I felt comfortable with."

    No questions were taken at the event. Elleithee said this incident was different than what happened with Gallo-Chasanoff in Newton. Elleithee said the staffer "bumped into someone he marginally knew" and during a conversation with Mitchell, "Iraq came up." Elleithee denied the campaign tried to plant him as a friendly questioner in the audience.

    Mitchell said he had never met the staffer before the event.
  2. Clinton should've had everyone sign a loyalty oath. No doubt when she becomes president, she should hire a "Jeff Ganon" type of person to lob questions in from time to time. Of course when asked to do NPR, only agree if you can pick the one asking the questions.

    I'm surprised we don't have media blackouts.

  3. Will her person be a gay prostitute like Ganon was?
  4. cnn is pretending like this is news? don't all the candidates do this? audience screening etc

    hasn't bush basically strong armed the departments into prescreening their statements for a positive bias toward himself, requisite number of mentions of his talking points, etc?

    american politics are pure bullshit on both 'sides' of the isle
  5. Open up 1984 and some of it reads like today:

    A Party member…is supposed to live in a continuous frenzy of hatred of foreign enemies and internal traitors, triumph over victories, and self-abasement before the power and wisdom of the Party. The discontents produced by his bare, unsatisfying life are deliberately turned outwards and dissipated by such devices as the Two Minutes Hate, and the speculations which might possibly induce a sceptical or rebellious attitude are killed in advance by his early acquired inner discipline…called, in Newspeak, crimestop. Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.
  6. crimestop lol.

    the two party system is anti-competitive and obsolete as a representational system of government
  7. i love the "wink" the plant gave right after the question. priceless!
  8. well the Huma story is gaining steam. you can see hillary's girlfriend in the "flag" video. too funny...... someone upstairs just doesn't like Hillary.
  9. maxpi


    I can't believe these Democrats, they won't go on Fox News for an interview, when they do they blow up in the face of the interviewer and talk bullshit [Bill Clinton] and they plant questions for their audiences....


    I'd like to ask Hillary this one:

    "my wife has to work full time to pay the tax bill since the public sector currently has a total budget of 45% of the Gross National Product. What do you intend to do about this situation that is destroying my family?" [that Ron Paul can't do a lot better]
  10. Wasn't Bush accused of having some sort of transceiver during a debate? Hasn't he had entire audiences that were hand picked with questions cleared by the White House? Haven't cared to look in to it ....

    ...however... Do you people seriously think that one group is more pious than the other when it comes to their stage craft?

    Get real gang.
    #10     Nov 13, 2007