Ohio Gov. John Kasich has a habit of making awkward comments about women as he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination.
At a CNN town hall on Tuesday in Milwaukee, Charlotte Rasmussen from Butler, Wisconsin, asked Kasich whom he would choose as his vice president were he the GOP’s nominee.
“Are you available? You look great tonight,” he said to her in response.
It’s hard to imagine him saying a similar thing to a male questioner.
Kasich has previously attracted headlines for his comments to and about women at campaign events. When a female student raised her hand to ask him a question in October, he said, “I don’t have any tickets for, you know, Taylor Swift or anything.” His routine of asking women “Have you ever been on a diet?” to explain his views on balancing budgets came to an end after it attracted negative headlines in November.
He’s said that he was elected to office with the help of women who “left their kitchens” to campaign for him and noted in 2012 that “it’s not easy to be a spouse of an elected official … they’re at home doing the laundry.”
Kasich also conflated his party's outreach to Latino voters with tipping hotel maids last year.
Comments aside, Kasich didn’t show much respect for women when he signed a bill defunding Planned Parenthood in February. Nearly half of Ohio’s abortion clinics have closed since he was elected in 2011.
Marcy Stech, the communications director at EMILY’s List, a group that elects women to office who are pro-abortion rights, said Republicans lose another female voter “every time John Kasich opens his mouth.”
“He's the king of tone-deaf slights toward women -- which still pale in comparison to his destructive, anti-woman record in Ohio,” she said. “The worst part? He's supposed to be the sane one in this election."