US Election 2016

John Kasich: Women 'left their kitchens' to vote for me

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Media captionJohn Kasich was talking about the first time he ever campaigned in the late 1970s

Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich says he has got support from "many women, who left their kitchens" to campaign for him.

"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," he said, reflecting on his first public test in the 1970s.

His remarks were to a crowd of about 1,000 at a town hall in Virginia.

One woman in the audience issued an immediate challenge to his comments.

"First off, I want to say: Your comment earlier about the women came out of the kitchen to support you? I'll come to support you but I won't be coming out of the kitchen."

"I gotcha," John Kasich replied.

But the reaction on Twitter came swiftly.

Image copyright Twitter

Image copyright Twitter

Some of his critics did not realise he was talking about 1976.

Image copyright Twitter

That's because the first clips to emerge of his comments did not contain the context.

A spokesman for John Kasich came out to defend his remarks, describing the Ohio governor's campaigns as "home-grown affairs".

"They've literally been run out of his friends' kitchens and many of his early campaign teams were made up of stay-at-home moms who believed deeply in the changes he wanted to bring to them and their families. That's real grassroots campaigning and he's proud of that authentic support," Rob Nichols said.

And how many women were employed in 1976? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 43% of women over 16 (and 72% of men) were in the workforce. It is now about 58% (69% for men).

This is not the first time the second-term governor has come under fire for comments made about women.

In October, an 18-year-old female university student hit back at Mr Kasich in a Huffington Post column after he responded to her request for a question by saying: "I'm sorry, I don't have any Taylor Swift concert tickets."

Image copyright Twitter

At another rally in November, he asked a woman "have you ever been on a diet?" in response to a question about balancing budgets.

Mr Kasich's latest comments recall those made by Mitt Romney during his unsuccessful run for the Republican nomination in 2012.

The former governor of Massachusetts turned into an internet meme for saying his aides had presented him with "whole binders full of women" when asked to see more female candidates and pay equality during the second presidential debate.

Image copyright Nikki Lynette

On Sunday, Mr Kasich's signing of a bill that blocks government funding in Ohio for Planned Parenthood - a healthcare not-for-profit organisation - drew strong condemnation from the Democratic party.

John Kasich, who has been endorsed by the New York Times, has vowed continue his campaign despite placing a disappointing fifth in the third Republican presidential test in South Carolina on Saturday.

"We're getting big crowds everywhere we go," he said on Monday.

The result comes two weeks after he finished second in the New Hampshire presidential primary. He is now pinning his hopes in Vermont, Massachusetts and Virginia in a bid to garner votes among mainstream Republicans.