Some have suggested that Ohio Governor John Kasich, who is also seeking the GOP Presidential nomination, is a different kind of Republican, less angry and more accepting of marginalized groups that the GOP often prefers to demonize: blacks, the LGBT community, Muslims, pretty much anyone other than middle-aged white men.
But during a campaign stop at the University of Richmond, Kasich managed to insult young female voters and immigrants in a bizarre channeling of his inner Donald Trump.
When college sophomore Kayla Solsbak enthusiastically tried to ask Kasich a question on immigration policy, this was his reaction:
“I’m sorry, I don’t have any tickets for Taylor Swift, or Linkin Park. Go ahead, yes, I know you’re just so excited.”
Is that supposed to be funny? Does he think students just show up at town hall meetings so they can score some hot tickets to a concert?
Then, in answering the question, Kasich compared immigrants in the United States to someone trying to break into a dorm room.
Hey, John, if this is your attempt to reach out, you really suck at it, man.
“While the lectures were condescending, the real issue was that Kasich chose not to listen to students in his forum. Most of the questions came from older members of the community, many vocalizing their support of Kasich before throwing him a softball question. Kasich barreled through a Planned Parenthood question, dismissing the young woman who posed it, and derided me when I had the audacity to raise my hand. Kasich came to Richmond to pander to retired Republicans. He could gain points by belittling me and my peers, so that’s what he did.”
Yikes! As I once I heard a Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia say when a candidate who spoke ahead of him said he didn’t always support a woman’s right to choose:
“I can feel the ‘no’ votes in the room.”
Another problem Kasich had, according to Solsbak, was the campaign’s choice of music:
“In a half-hearted attempt to connect with young voters, Kasich entered the town hall forum with the 2014 hit song ‘Shut Up and Dance With Me’ blasting from the speakers. While my friends all found it out of place, I realized that the song’s title accurately reflects Kasich’s message to young voters: shut up and elect me.”
63-year-old men like John Kasich should not try to be hip or cool. They aren’t. They will never be. Those days are long gone.
Finally, Ms. Solsbak wrote this:
“If the candidate wants to connect with my peers, he can’t do it through superficial pop culture references. If he wants our votes, he needs to listen to our voices and address the issues we care about. The president leads the country, not the VMAs, and it’s insulting that the governor doesn’t think we can distinguish between the two. 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.”
Note to the Kasich campaign: You wasted your time going all the way to Virginia. You could have saved your money and stayed in Ohio if you wanted to prove just how little you know about the electorate.