Kasich: Comments about tipping Latina maid were about honoring people ‘we run … – USA TODAY
MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. – When John Kasich talked about tipping the maid, he was trying to show his appreciation for people who are sometimes ignored – not associate Latinos exclusively with service jobs, the Ohio governor said Saturday.
Kasich defended comments he made Thursday in response to a question about how he would attract Latino voters. The comments were viewed as offensive to some Latino leaders, while others said Kasich had good intentions and a compassionate stance on immigration.
Kasich got the question about Latino voters Thursday, during a campaign appearance at a swanky Southern California golf club. Kasich spoke of his stance on immigration, which includes allowing people who are in the U.S. without proper documentation to stay here, likely after paying a fine.
Then, he said: “I look at our friends in the Latino community as people that ought to be voting Republican. … They are great, caring, hardworking folks. And a lot of them do jobs that, that they’re willing to do.
“That’s why in the hotel you leave a little tip, you know?”
He went on, talking about the maid in his Los Angeles hotel, who is a Latina. The audience, which included a few Latinos, didn’t seem to mind. But the comments struck some political watchers as a sign that Kasich’s off-the-cuff style could pose trouble to his presidential bid. A Latino activist told the Los Angeles Times the comments were an example of stereotyping immigrants.
Not so, Kasich said Saturday.
“All I was trying to say the other day is that I’m glad sometimes, in the middle of the speed of what I’m doing, that I can slow down and honor people who sometimes we run past very quickly,” Kasich said on the sidelines of a 2,300-person conference of Michigan Republicans. “I’ve been one of the strongest advocates for how Hispanics in this country can add so much for every profession, and that they need to be able to be here and not be afraid their families are going to be divided.
“And they contribute so much, and not just one area, but they’re completely involved in all aspects of our economy.”
The Ohio governor’s stance on immigration is among the most moderate of Republican candidates for president. He has advocated for building a wall or fence on the border with Mexico and having a guest-worker program for immigrants, along with allowing immigrants to stay in the U.S., regardless of their documentation status.
We should want Latinos in our communities because of their family values, Kasich says.
That’s the kind of rhetoric Republican candidates should adopt, two Latino leaders said Friday. The officials, from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, told Politico they thought Kasich had good intentions, even if he phrased his comments awkwardly.