Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) said on Sunday that he does not understand the criticism over his comments Friday suggesting that college women should prevent sexual assaults by avoiding parties with alcohol.
In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, the Republican presidential hopeful noted that his own daughters will someday go to college parties where there’s alcohol. “It’s just, you have to be careful,” he observed. “When alcohol is involved, it becomes more difficult for justice to be rendered, for a whole variety of reasons. But we can still find the perpetrator.”
Pressed about whether he understood why a lot of people saw that as victim-blaming, Kasich said that he did not. “Actually, I don’t know how anybody would take it that way.”
“I don’t care if there’s a party with alcohol. I’m just saying be careful! That’s what I would tell my daughters,” he added, continuing to embrace the disproved myth that that there is a direct link between rape and alcohol consumption.
The Ohio Governor then boasted that he had been the leader in trying to punish sexual assaults. “When our folks first sat down with the colleges and universities, I have a lady attorney who sort of led this effort for me. They didn’t quite known what do and I said, I don’t care about what they know or don’t know — we are going to have a system in place to make sure that the women on our college campus are protected and if something would happen to them, that justice can be done.”
Kasich then urged Bash to drop the subject: “Let’s go on,” he told her.
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Kasich’s comments are the latest in a long series of controversial comments to and about women, including lamenting to a young woman who asked him about immigration policy that he had no Taylor Swift tickets to give her and boasting that “women who left their kitchens” had helped fuel his early campaign victories.