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Out of the Kitchen: Kasich’s Record on Women

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Out of the Kitchen: Kasich’s Record on Women 

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is taking heat today for his comments on women who “left their kitchen” to campaign for him. But Kasich’s comment today is just the latest in his record of out-of-touch statements and policies when it comes to women and equality.

Kasich, the last Republican governor standing in the presidential race, is attempting to bill himself as a ‘moderate.’ His record on women’s rights, however, is anything but. 


In February 2016, Kasich Said he Got Elected by “Women who Left Their Kitchens” to Campaign For Him. According to the Associated Press, “John Kasich says he got elected in part by ‘women who left their kitchens’ to campaign for him. The Ohio governor and former congressman told about 1,000 people at a town hall in Fairfax, Virginia, that he started campaigning with very little support. ‘How did I get elected? I didn’t have anybody for me. We just got an army of people and many women who left their kitchens to go out and go door to door and to put yard signs up for me.’ [Associated Press, 2/22/16]

In September 2012 Kasich Said Political Spouses are “At Home, Doing the Laundry and Doing So Many Things While We’re Up Here on Stage.”According to the Huffington Post, “Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), speaking at an event for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney Wednesday, discussed the challenges facing political spouses […] ‘You know, Jane Portman, Karen Kasich, and Janna Ryan, they operate an awful lot of the time in the shadows,’ he said, speaking of his wife and those of Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). ‘It’s not easy to be a spouse of an elected official,’ he said. ‘You know, they’re at home, doing the laundry and doing so many things while we’re up here on the stage getting a little bit of applause, right? They don’t often share in it. And it is hard for the spouse to hear the criticism and to put up with the travel schedule and to have to be at home taking care of the kids. And where is the politician? Out on the road.’” [Huffington Post, 9/13/12]

At an October 2015 Event Kasich Mocked a Female College Student Saying “I’m Sorry, I Don’t Have Any Taylor Swift Concert Tickets.” According to the Times, “Stumping at the University of Richmond this week, Mr. Kasich, during a question-and-answer session, called upon a female student. ‘I’m sorry, I don’t have any Taylor Swift concert tickets,’ Mr. Kasich, the Ohio governor reportedly said, according to the school’s paper the Collegian. The student, 18-year-old Kayla Solsbak, who is the features assistant at the newspaper shot back on Tuesday. ‘I didn’t go to a town hall forum for Taylor Swift tickets, Gov. Kasich. I went because it’s my civic duty to be an informed voter. Please start treating me like one,’ Ms. Solsbakwrote in an editorial for the paper.” [Washington Times, 10/7/15]

Kasich: Women Don’t Need Workplace Protections, We Just Need “A Change of Hearts Among Major Employers.” In an interview on O’Reilly Factor on April 24, 2002 John Kasich said that, “I’m not saying we need a law [banning discrimination against single-parent employees]. We need a change of hearts among major employers, right? [Fox News, 4/24/02]

At an October 2015 Event Kasich was Asked about the Gender Gap and Said “Well, a Lot of it is Based on Experience.” According to ThinkProgress, “In Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) grilled presidential candidate John Kasich about his views on immigration, gun control, the wars in the Middle East, and economic inequality — particularly between men and women. […] Palomarez pointed out that Kasich has daughters of his own, and asked how he explains this disparity to them. ‘Well, a lot of it is based on experience,’ Kasich replied. ‘A lot of different factors go into it. It’s all tied up in skills. Do you not have the skills to be able to compete?’ Seeming somewhat shocked at this response, Palomarez asked, ‘Are you saying women workers are less skilled than men?’ ‘No, no, of course not,’ Kasich said. ‘I mean, a woman is now running my campaign, and she’s doing a fantastic job. The head of our welfare reform office is a woman. I understand that if you exclude women, you’re not as effective.’ He added that he has worked to increase spending on education in Ohio so that both men and women can gain the skills they need to earn a decent living.” [ThinkProgress, 10/7/15]

Associated Press Headline: Gender Gap Under Kasich Nearly $10 an Hour. Associated to the Associated Press, “A newspaper investigation has found the average pay gap between men and women in the offices of four of Ohio’s five elected statewide officials has grown to as much as almost $10 an hour, as it’s shrunk to under a dollar across the rest of state government. Women working in Republican Gov. John Kasich’s office earn $9.81-an-hour less, on average, than men, the Dayton Daily News analysis published Sunday showed. That’s the highest gender pay gap among statewide officeholders, according to the newspaper’s study of Ohio Department of Administrative Services data.” [Associated Press, 4/21/14]

In February 2016 Kasich Signed Legislation Defunding Planned Parenthood. According to the Associated Press, “Gov. John Kasich signed legislation Sunday to strip government money from Planned Parenthood in Ohio, a day after the Republican presidential contender’s weak performance in his party’s South Carolina primary. The expected action came despite calls for a veto by some legislative Democrats and several newspaper editorials. The governor did not sign the bill in public. His office made the announcement in a statement. The legislation targets the roughly $1.3 million in funding that Planned Parenthood receives through Ohio’s health department. The money, which is mostly federal, supports HIV testing, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and prevention of violence against women. The legislation prohibits such funds from going to entities that perform or promote abortions, their affiliates and those that contract with an entity that performs abortions. The bill doesn’t name Planned Parenthood but backers of the legislation have acknowledged the organization will be the most affected. They want the money to go to health centers and other providers that do not perform abortions.” [Associated Press, 2/21/16]

On Planned Parenthood Funding Kasich Told a Supporter “You Don’t Have to Be Captive of Delivery Through an Organization That has Largely Discredited Itself, OK?” According to the Columbus Dispatch, “Ohio Gov. John Kasich, campaigning in Virginia Monday in advance of this state’s March 1 primary, defended his decision to sign a bill to defund Planned Parenthood in Ohio, insisting “we will not walk away from” women’s health if he is elected president. Speaking to a crowd in moderate Northern Virginia, Kasich said that Planned Parenthood has ‘discredited itself’ and insisted ‘we have robust women’s health funding in Ohio.’ […] She said she was concerned about the decision to defund Planned Parenthood because of its work preventing sexually transmitted disease.  Kasich avoided talking about the issue of sexually transmitted disease but said he has tried to fight the issue of infant mortality in the state. He said he’s focused particularly on the issue in the minority community. “We are going to crack that as well,” he said, but said, ‘you don’t have to be captive of delivery through an organization that has largely discredited itself, OK?’ Speaking on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., this morning, Kasich said his strong showing in New Hampshire – he came in second to billionaire Donald Trump – means that ‘for the first time my voice is being heard.’” [Columbus Dispatch, 2/22/16]