WASHINGTON -- After taking flack for telling a crowd in Virginia that women "left their kitchens" to support him in a statehouse race from his early political days in the 1970s, Gov. John Kasich apologized Monday night on CNN.
During a town hall meeting Monday in Fairfax, Virginia, Kasich was discussing how he first got elected when he said, "I didn't have anybody for me. We just got an army of people who, um, and many women, who left their kitchens to go out and go door-to-door and to put yard signs up for me."
A female attendee at the town hall fired back at Kasich, saying, "First off, I want to say -- your comment earlier about the women came out the kitchen to support you? I'll come to support you, but I won't be coming out of the kitchen."
Later that night, Kasich explained his remarks to CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
"I'm more than happy to say, 'I'm sorry' if I offended somebody out there, but it wasn't intended to be offensive," Kasich said. "And if you hear the whole thing, you'll understand the context of it."
In a news conference earlier Monday in Charlottesville, Virginia, Kasich admitted his comments weren't made "artfully," pointing out that his campaign manager, lieutenant governor and a Supreme Court nominee in Ohio are all women.
He then said, "Everybody's just got to relax."
"I'm kind of a real guy and I think people want authenticity and I'm going to continue to be authentic and every once in a while, have to go back and make sure people know what I really mean when I say something," Kasich said.
Hillary Clinton's campaign weighed in shortly after Kasich's initial remarks, tweeting, "It's 2016, A woman's place is ... wherever she wants to be."
It's 2016. A woman's place is...wherever she wants it to be. https://t.co/lkXdirHlap
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 22, 2016
Kasich told reporters he agreed with Clinton.
"I'll be a little bit more careful, "he said. "But I'll continue to operate on a high wire without a net, and frankly, I'd like to see everybody who is running for president get out of the scripted role and start to be real and take questions."
This latest statement comes amid a period during which Kasich has been touting his positive, optimistic campaign style versus his opponents' negative styles. Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Alex Triantafilou told WCPO that voters are just now seeing a softer side of Kasich that has always been there.
“John can be a little flippant in his remarks, and people mistake that,” Triantafilou said. “He doesn’t get credit for his softer, kinder, gentler side. … I honestly don’t think it’s as much of a political strategy as it is a look in the man’s soul.”