A few weeks ago, Ohio Gov. John Kasich took his Republican presidential campaign to Los Angeles, where he tried to praise Latino voters. It didn’t go well – the GOP governor clumsily conflated Latinos, service-industry workers, and his hotel room’s maid.
This week, as the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported, Kasich had a similar stumble, this time in Virginia.
A University of Richmond student says Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich demeaned her by joking about Taylor Swift tickets during a question-and-answer session at the school Monday.Kayla Solsbak, 18, wrote an account of her experience for student news outlet The Collegian, saying Kasich responded “I’m sorry, I don’t have any Taylor Swift concert tickets” when Solsbak raised her hand with a question.
American Bridge 21st Century, naturally, captured the moment on video. Kasich is seen dramatically waving his hand, telling the young woman, “I don’t have any tickets for, you know, for Taylor Swift or anything or, you know, or Linkin Pa… Go ahead. Yes. I know. You’re just so excited. Yes.”
According to the report from the college newspaper, the Republican presidential candidate told another young woman at the event, “I’m sure you get invited to all of the parties.”
Kayla Solsbak, not surprisingly, didn’t appreciate Kasich’s attempt at humor: “What continues to strike me is the hypocrisy of his condescension. He touted his ambitious energy as an 18-year-old man, but as soon as I, an 18-year-old woman, exhibited ambition. I became the target of his joke.”
For the record, her question was about undocumented immigrants, not Taylor Swift.
Obviously, incidents like these will probably not make or break the Ohio governor’s national candidacy, but they are a reminder that Kasich is occasionally his own worst enemy. When he tries to be folksy and unguarded, he too often pushes his luck – in 2011, you’ll recall, he threw a fit after getting a speeding ticket, lashing out at a police officer for doing his job, calling the officer “an idiot” for no apparent reason.
Kasich is not a political amateur. He ran nine successful congressional campaigns and two winning gubernatorial campaigns in one of the nation’s largest states. In other words, he should know a bit about interacting with people in a way that’s not insulting.