Kasich: I have ‘great respect’ for Hispanic community

Updated

Ohio Gov. John Kasich defended remarks he made about tipping a hotel maid Sunday, stressing his “great respect” for Hispanic Americans. 

“Look, if I have to be clear about it, I’m just trying to say that in the course of a presidential campaign I’m glad I don’t move so fast that I ignore people and my views on our Hispanic friends across this country have been very positive,” Kasich said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “They have been impactful in so many ways.”

Kasich noted that he explicitly supports a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants, a move that puts him to the left of many of his Republican rivals. 

Related: Kasich remark about Latina maid draws unwanted attention

“My position on immigration is one thats intended to keep families together and to give them a good place in American society,” Kasich said. “So if somebody needs me to clarify that, that’s fine, but I have great respect for them. I think they’re an important fabric of America.”

Kasich’s comments last week at an Orange County golf club drew criticism from some Latino groups as condescending as well as a Spanish-language response from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on Twitter, who said “talking about Latinos doesn’t just mean talking about tips.”

“A lot of them do jobs that they’re willing to do, and that’s why in the hotel you leave a little tip,” Kasich said at at that event, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“This lady wrote me in my hotel there in L.A,” he continued. “She wrote this note. It said, `I really want you to know that I care about your stay.’ Is that just the greatest thing?” Kasich said, according to the newspaper. “So, you know, we can learn a lot and she’s Hispanic, ‘cause I didn’t know it at the time, but I met her in the hallway — asked her if I could get a little more soap.”

John Kasich

Kasich: I have 'great respect' for Hispanic community

Updated