Politics

John Kasich Advises Student to Avoid Parties and Alcohol to Dodge Sexual Assault

Ohio Governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich attempted to ease a female college student's fears about sexual assault, by saying that she might do well to avoid parties where people drink alcohol.

At a town hall event in Watertown, New York on Friday, Kasich was asked what he would do as president to address the epidemic of sexual assaults on college campuses. The candidate touted confidential reporting, rape kits, and legal recourse as steps to address the problem.

The college student lamented the fact that it's "something that I have to worry about," before Kasich repeated one of the more controversial lines about placing blame on sexual assault victims:

"Well I would give you, I'd also give you one bit of advice. Don't go to parties where there's a lot of alcohol. Okay? Don't do that," he said to a round of applause. Here's the full exchange:

John Kasich

Kasich's response was decried immediately for placing the blame on victims of sexual assault.

Some observers noted that the stance would push women voters further away from Kasich's party than they already are.

"It's no wonder women are turning away from Republican field in huge numbers," Christina Feundlich, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee told CNN. "Our country deserves a president who will stand with them, not put the blame on them."

Kasich was criticized in February for restricting women's access to health care after he signed a bill cutting off Planned Parenthood from government funding in Ohio.