Republican U.S. presidential candidate John Kasich apologized Monday for making a controversial comment about women during a town hall event in Fairfax, Virginia, CNN reported. Describing early moments of his political career in the 1970s, the Ohio governor said women “left their kitchens” for him during a Statehouse race, provoking a retort by one woman voter in the crowd.
“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,” CNN quoted Kasich as saying.
A woman at the town hall event fired back, saying she would come to support Kasich, but that she “won’t be coming out of the kitchen.” Later Monday, Kasich apologized for his comment while speaking to CNN, saying it was not intended to be offensive.
During a news conference, Kasich contended his remark was not made “artfully,” as he noted his campaign manager, lieutenant governor and Ohio Supreme Court appointee are all women.
“Everybody’s just got to relax,” Kasich said. “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.”
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign quickly condemned Kasich’s initial comment, tweeting:
It's 2016. A woman's place is...wherever she wants it to be. https://t.co/lkXdirHlap
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 22, 2016
On the heels of a fifth-place finish in the GOP’s South Carolina primary election Saturday, Kasich secured the support of billionaire financier Stanley Druckenmiller. He also recently won over Kenneth Langone, the billionaire co-founder of the Home Depot. During the next few days, however, some major Republican campaign contributors intend to privately urge Kasich to drop out of the White House, according to a major GOP bundler cited by CNN.