Kasich thanks women who 'came out of their kitchens' to campaign

By Ann Marie Awad  |  Feb. 22, 2016 at 1:48 PM
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FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich said there are many to thank for his successful state Senate campaign in 1978, including the "women who left their kitchens" to canvas for him.

Kasich made the remarks during a town hall Monday morning at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

"How did I get elected? I didn't have anybody for me," he said. "We just got an army of people -- and many women who left their kitchens to go out and go door to door and 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, the early days, it was an army of the women that really helped me get elected to the state Senate."

A woman in the audience later told Kasich: "I'll come to support you, but I won't be coming out of the kitchen."

Kasich's campaign was quick to bat down any allegations of sexism.

"John Kasich'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," Chris Schrimpf, Kasich's spokesman, later told NBC. "That's real grass-roots campaigning and he's proud of that authentic support. To try and twist his comments into anything else is just desperate politics."

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign -- which sells needlepoint throw pillows that read "a woman's place is in the White House" -- tweeted similar sentiments in response to Kasich's statement: "It's 2016. A woman's place is...wherever she wants it to be."

The comments are another misstep on Kasich's rocky road to appeal to women voters. Sunday, he signed a bill defunding Planned Parenthood in Ohio, a signature he had promised some time ago that put him firmly in the crosshairs of the group, which said Kasich has "made life hell" for Ohio women.

In October, Kasich set off a social media firestorm when he derided a female college student trying to ask him a question at a town hall, telling her, "I'm sorry, I don't have any Taylor Swift tickets."

The University of Richmond student, 18-year-old Kayla Solsbak, wrote a opinion piece in her college's newspaper slamming Kasich's remark.

"I didn't go to a town hall forum for Taylor Swift tickets, Gov. Kasich," Solsbak wrote. "I went because it's my civic duty to be an informed voter. Please start treating me like one."

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