On the campaign trail, Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich has gained an unfortunate reputation for his tendency to speak disrespectfully to and about women, like that time when he told a college student he didn’t have any Taylor Swift tickets, or lamented how easily a diet can become sidelined when spumoni is in the picture.
In B-roll video footage from what appears to be a 1999 presidential campaign ad, Kasich speaks vaguely about “values” (let us presume those of the family variety), and suggests that he feels the onus is on teenage girls to avoid being sexually exploited.
“You know what the values tell you? Why are you 15 years old and letting some boy take advantage of you?” Kasich says in the clip, which Jezebel obtained from supporters of a rival candidate. “You shouldn’t be doing that.”
“The values are designed to give people a sense of what their potential is and what their responsibilities are,” he continues.
It’s an old and exhausting idea: teenage boys are responsible for exploring their sexuality, and girls are responsible for keeping their legs together. In fact, Kasich has a record of supporting legislation that punishes women for being sexually active. In his time as governor of Ohio, Kasich signed every restriction on abortion and family planning that crossed his desk. And, even though he is publicly supportive of the rights of rape victims to receive abortion services, in 2014, Kasich signed a budget that included a “gag rule,” which forbade state-funded rape crisis counselors from referring survivors to abortion clinics. The budget also stripped funding from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. (That bill once included a provision that would prohibit schools from teaching students about any “sexual gateway activity,” which was dropped after Democratic pushback.)
“He is, if not the worst, among the worst of anti-choice governors in this country’s history,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio in an interview with Mother Jones.
This July, Kasich also brushed off Ivana Trump’s claim that her one-time husband, aspiring politician Donald Trump, had sexually assaulted her in the early ’90s. “Just let it go,” Kasich said. “Move on. Talk about something else.”
In an email to Jezebel, a spokesperson from Kasich’s campaign wrote, “I can’t provide insight or context on a 17-year-old ad that I haven’t even seen.”
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Image via AP.