Women ‘left their kitchens’ to back me, White House candidate says
U.S. Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said women supported him in a 1978 Ohio senate race
U.S. Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said Monday that women “left their kitchens” to support him in a 1978 Ohio state senate race, triggering pushback from voters and rivals.
“How did I get elected?” Kasich asked rhetorically during a campaign event in Virginia.
“Nobody was -- I didn’t have anybody for me. We just got an army of people... many women, who left their kitchens to go out and go door to door, and to put yard signs up for me. All the way back, when, you know, things were different.
“Now you call homes and everybody’s out working. But at that time, early days, it was an army of the women that really helped me get elected to the state Senate,” Kasich added.
Kasich, who now serves as Ohio’s governor, first ran for the state senate in 1978.
A woman attending the Virginia town hall later quipped: “First off, I want to say -- your comment earlier about the women came out the kitchen to support you? I’ll come to support you, but I won’t be coming out of the kitchen.”
The woman also asked a question about Kasich signing a bill on Sunday to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion and family planning services.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton -- who is trying to become toe first woman U.S. president -- was quick to jump on Kasich’s remarks to suggest he was out of touch with women.
“It’s 2016. A woman’s place is... wherever she wants it to be,” Clinton tweeted.
Kasich later apologized, telling CNN: “I’m more than happy to say I’m sorry if I offended somebody out there, but it wasn’t intended to be offensive.”
He also made a more vigorous defense of his record on women.
“We had a lot of women that played a major role in my political campaign, political life, and they still do... I’m very grateful to all the work they put in for me,” Kasich said, noting his lieutenant governor is a woman (Mary Taylor).
And he sought to bolster his credentials as an independently-minded politician.
“I take orders from nobody,” Kasich said.
Earlier, Kasich had told reporters he would try to be “a bit more careful” going forward but plans to stay unscripted.
“I’ll continue to operate on a high wire without a net. And frankly, I’d like to see everyone who is running for president get out of the scripted role and start to be real and take questions,” he said.
Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols sought to defuse the controversy, dismissing the backlash as “desperate politics.”
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