WASHINGTON (CNN) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich told a Virginia crowd Monday that women “left their kitchens” for him in an early statehouse race, quickly prompting a retort from one woman voter there.
“And how did I get elected? Nobody was, I didn’t have anybody for me. We just got an army of people who, um, and many women, who left their kitchens to go out and go door-to-door and to put yard signs up for me,” the Republican presidential candidate said Monday, describing moments from his early career in the 1970s, during a town hall in Fairfax, Virginia.
A woman voter later shot back.
“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,” she said.
Kasich, speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer later on Monday, apologized.
“I’m more than happy to say, ‘I’m sorry’ if I offended somebody out there, but it wasn’t intended to be offensive,” Kasich said. “And if you hear the whole thing, you’ll understand the context of it.”
Campaign spokesperson Chris Schrimpf explained the remark as how the candidate’s “campaigns have always been homegrown affairs.”
“They’ve literally been run out of his friends’ kitchens and many of his early campaign teams were made up of stay-at-home moms who believed deeply in the changes he wanted to bring to them and their families,” Schrimpf said in a statement. “That’s real grassroots campaigning and he’s proud of that authentic support. To try and twist his comments into anything else is just desperate politics.”
Hillary Clinton’s campaign weighed in shortly after Kasich’s remarks, tweeting, “It’s 2016, A woman’s place is … wherever she wants to be.”
At the town hall, Kasich also fielded questions about his decision to sign a bill into law in Ohio defunding Planned Parenthood. Kasich said his state offered “robust funding for women’s health,” but that they should not “be captive to delivering it through an organization that has largely discredited itself.”
Planned Parenthood blasted the Kasich remark Monday, just a day after Kasich signed a bill in Ohio barring the state from contracting with the group.
“This is flat-out insulting. Kasich’s condescending attitude toward women needs to stop, whether it’s on the campaign trail or back at home in Ohio,” said Dawn Laguens, vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, in a statement. “Kasich’s flippant attitude toward women’s lives is causing real harm.”