Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich on Friday told a college student concerned about rape not to go to parties “where there’s a lot of alcohol”.
Kasich, the Ohio governor seen as a moderate in the GOP race, was participating in a town hall campaign event in Watertown, New York, in advance of the state presidential primary on Tuesday.
A young woman who identified herself as a first-year student at St Lawrence University in Canton, New York, asked the candidate what he would “do in office as president to help me feel safer and more secure regarding sexual violence, harassment, and rape,” according to an ABC News report.
Kasich told the student to draw on school resources. “You ought to absolutely know that if something happens to you along the lines of sexual harassment or whatever … you have a place to go where there is a confidential reporting, where there is an ability for you to access a rape kit, where that is kept confidential, but where it gives you the opportunity to be able to pursue justice, after you have had some time to reflect on it all,” he said.
The student said it was an issue she had to worry about.
“Well, I would give you – I’d also give you one bit of advice,” said Kasich, who has twin 16-year-old daughters. “Don’t go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol.”
Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Christina Freundlich released a statement saying: “Republican presidential candidates like John Kasich and Donald Trump are insulting women every day on the campaign trail by blaming victims of sexual and domestic violence.”
Kasich came in for criticism in February for attributing an election victory in part to women “coming out of kitchens” to support him.
“How did I get elected? I didn’t have anybody for me,” Kasich told a Virginia audience. “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 all the way back when things were different.”