Republican Presidential candidate John Kasich received some backlash after signing a bill to defund Planned Parenthood in Ohio and saying that he only got elected after “women left their kitchens” to campaign for him. In response, the Ohio governor has done his best to defend both of the controversial decisions.
According to Dayton Daily News, John Kasich spoke to a crowd on Monday while campaigning in Virginia. He told the audience that he defunded Planned Parenthood after the organization “discredited itself.” Kasich was referring to the undercover videos that an anti-abortion group filmed and edited, claiming to have caught Planned Parenthood employees selling fetal tissue illegally. The videos prompted an investigation, but a grand jury determined that the video makers were actually the ones guilty of breaking the law, whereas Planned Parenthood had done nothing wrong.
Even so, John Kasich stands on the side of many conservatives who disagree with the practices of the women’s healthcare organization. John Kasich also reassured voters that Ohio is still fully capable of providing women’s healthcare to those in need.
“I just think the organization has lost credibility, and at the end of the day it is about women’s health. I’m for robust funding of women’s health. I’m just not for doing it through Planned Parenthood.”
An audience member voiced concern that defunding Planned Parenthood would result in the spread of more sexually transmitted diseases, because the organization did extensive work protecting both women and men from sexual infections. John Kasich did not address sexually transmitted diseases and instead claimed he was most focused on reducing in the infant mortality rate, especially among minorities.
But defunding Planned Parenthood wasn’t the only choice John Kasich had to defend. Earlier in the day, the candidate accidentally perpetuated outdated gender roles by claiming that women “left their kitchens” in order to get him elected to the Ohio state senate back in 1978, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
“How did I get elected?” John Kasich said. “I didn’t have anybody for me. We just got an army of people, who, and many women, who left their kitchens to go out and go door to door and to put yard signs up for me.”
There was instant backlash to John Kasich’s comments, which both liberals and conservatives found to be slightly sexist. One of Kasich’s political opponents, Marco Rubio, publicized the “kitchen” comment as an attempt to discredit him.
Meanwhile, Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton tweeted in response, “a woman’s place is wherever she wants to be.”
John Kasich was confronted by a news reporter who brought up Hillary Clinton’s tweet.
“I completely agree,” Kasich said in response.
He further defended himself by claiming the mistake was an off-the-cuff remark that he didn’t really mean to say.
“I am not a scripted candidate,” John Kasich claimed. “I don’t use teleprompters. I don’t run around with all these notes like lots of people do. I’m real and maybe sometimes I might say something that isn’t artfully said as well as it should be but you know 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 awhile I’ll have to go back and make sure people know what I really mean when I say something.”
The woman who questioned John Kasich about defunding Planned Parenthood added, “I’ll come out to support you, but I won’t be coming out of the kitchen.”
John Kasich isn’t the only Republican candidate who has been criticized for his off-the-cuff remarks. Ted Cruz was recently quoted claiming that Celiac disease is not a real illness, so the military shouldn’t have to worry about providing gluten-free MREs to soldiers. Read more here.
Do you think John Kasich should be forgiven for implying women belong in the kitchen? Do you support his decision to defund Planned Parenthood?
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]