— From NBC/NJ's Athena Jones and NBC's Domenico Montanaro
At a campaign event in Iowa, the Clinton campaign approached a student to ask a specific question of Hillary Clinton.
"They were canned," a Grinnell College student told her campus newspaper, the Scarlet and Black. "One of the senior staffers told me what [to ask]."
NBC News confirmed that the Clinton campaign did, in fact, "discuss a possible question" with a student.
this occasion, a member of our staff did discuss a possible question
about Senator Clinton's energy plan at a forum," a campaign
spokesperson said. "However, Senator Clinton did not know which
questioners she was calling on during the event. This is not standard
policy and will not be repeated again."
*** UPDATE *** From NBC/NJ's Athena Jones
DES MOINES, IA, Nov. 10 -- On the eve of the Jefferson-Jackson dinner,
a huge Democratic event in which the top six candidates for the party's
nomination will have a chance to shine, the Clinton campaign admitted
to a not so stellar act.
Grinnell College student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff told her school publication that Clinton staffers had approached her before the senator's speech on biofuels Tuesday in Newton, IA, to suggest she ask a question on global warming during the Q & A afterwards.
Clinton began her response to the student by saying that young people often posed this question to her at events. She then went on to talk about her energy plan. When asked Friday night whether they felt they had "planted" the question, the Clinton campaign's Mo Elleithee gave the above response.
It's an interesting admission in a campaign that has long-been accused of trying to stage, manage and control events, and it came a day after the senator held a roundtable discussion with seven supposedly undecided voters at a ski resort in the White Mountains region of northern New Hampshire.
Clinton's campaign said they found the voters through the usual canvassing -- knocking on doors and making phone calls -- and that all of them were undecided about which candidate to support. But one of the participants, Bonnie Campbell, said before the roundtable began that she was already a supporter and that the country needed a woman president.
"I believe in her," Campbell said. "I think she'll do a good job."
Campbell said the campaign called and asked her if she knew any undecideds she could bring to the discussion -- which consisted of each person asking one question and the senator responding with nuggets from her speeches.
Campbell brought her daughter, Holly Reville, 39, an Independent, who said she was choosing between Obama and Clinton before the event, but was leaning toward the New York senator by the end of it.