Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich has been known, from time to time, to share anecdotes that get him into trouble. In 2011, for example, the Ohio governor threw a bit of a tantrum after getting a speeding ticket, lashing out at a police officer for doing his job, calling the officer “an idiot” for no apparent reason.
Keep this in mind while reading a new report from the L.A. Times about Kasich’s trip to Southern California this week, where he spoke about his party’s outreach to Latino voters.
At a luncheon hosted at a posh Orange County golf club by a local political action committee, Kasich heap praise upon Latinos – a crucial voting bloc, with 28 million expected to be eligible to vote in the 2016 election – for family values and work ethic, but then appeared to indirectly conflate Latinos and service-industry workers.“A lot of them do jobs that they’re willing to do and, uh, that’s why in the hotel you leave a little tip,” said Kasich before a small group inside the Shady Canyon Golf Club, nestled in a gated Irvine neighborhood.
According to the Times’ report, Kasich told his audience, “This lady wrote me in my hotel there in L.A. She wrote this note. It said, ‘I really want you to know that I care about your stay.’ Is that just the greatest thing?
“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,” said a chuckling Kasich.
I imagine the governor was trying to be complimentary, though it didn’t quite work.
Jorge-Mario Cabrera, communications director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, told the newspaper, “Most candidates have lopsided, stereotypical ideas about immigrants, which include the sense that immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, are only good while serving others. The comment lacks history, sense of how important immigrants are to our economy, and vision where immigrants are more than just ‘the help.’”
The Kasich campaign said the GOP candidate was referring to the service industry in general. That said, if the article is correct, the governor did say, “A lot of them do jobs that they’re willing to do” in apparent reference to Latinos.