WASHINGTON– Ohio Gov. John Kasich apologized Monday for telling 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.”
In a news conference earlier Monday in Charlottesville, Virginia, Kasich did not apologize for his remark, but said his comments weren’t made “artfully” and pointed out that his campaign manager, lieutenant governor and a Supreme Court nominee in Ohio are all women.
“When I was a new candidate, I did what I do now, which is to have a lot of town hall meetings. But they weren’t in town halls. They were in kitchens, they were in living rooms and a big chunk of the people that helped me in my early days and throughout my career, even up ’til now, have been women,” Kasich said.
He then said, “Everybody’s just got to relax.”
“I’m kind of a real guy and I think people want authenticity and I’m going to continue to be authentic and every once in a while, have to go back and make sure people know what I really mean when I say something,” Kasich said.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign weighed in shortly after Kasich’s initial remarks, tweeting, “It’s 2016, A woman’s place is … wherever she wants to be.”
Kasich told reporters he agreed with Clinton.
“I’ll be a little bit more careful, “he said. “But I’ll continue to operate on a high wire without a net, and frankly, I’d like to see everybody who is running for president get out of the scripted role and start to be real and take questions.”
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.”