Ohio Gov. John Kasich is terribly confused about why anyone would believe that his remarks that women should avoid drinking at parties if they don't want to be sexually assaulted would be interpreted as blaming the victim.
CNN's Dana Bash asked Kasich about his comments to a college co-ed on this Sunday's State of the Union, and the governor basically doubled down and said he was just concerned about protecting women:
BASH: But on the campaign trail this week, a female college student asked what you would do as president to help protect her from sexual assault. You gave a long answer. At the end, you said, you would give her some advice, which is to avoid parties with alcohol.
Since then, you have made clear that you have a strong record in Ohio to help...
KASICH: Probably the strongest in the country.
BASH: ... helping people, helping on the issue of sexual assault.
But on the question of whether or not women, young women, should avoid parties with alcohol, do you still give that advice?
KASICH: No, no, no, I said -- no -- well, look, I mean, my daughters are some time going to go to college, and they're going to go to a party where there's alcohol.
It's just you have to be careful. My only comment on it, you know, it gets to be when alcohol's involved, it becomes -- it becomes more difficult for justice to be rendered for a whole variety of reasons. But we can still find the perpetrator. So...
BASH: But you understand why a lot of people, women in particular, took that as, wow, he's blaming the victim, or he's even giving some culpability to the victim.
KASICH: Well, I don't know -- no, what I -- I -- actually, I don't know how anybody would take it that way, because...
BASH: Because it's taken a while to change the stigma of getting people to come out.
KASICH: Dana, I'm the one that has led the way in the country to fight this and to get justice served in these conditions.↓ Story continues below ↓
I think even if, in fact, there is alcohol involved, you still have -- you still can find the perpetrator. I just don't want justice to be denied because something comes up that a prosecutor looks at and says, well, I can't figure this thing out.
BASH: Just to put a button on this, and then we will move on, it's -- even if all of the mechanisms of justice are in place in a perfect way, if a young woman doesn't feel like she can come forward...
BASH: ... because she's at a party with alcohol...
KASICH: Oh, no, no, no, no.
I don't care if they're at a party with alcohol. I'm just saying, be careful. That's what I would tell my daughters. Be careful.
But are you kidding me? Somebody gets sexually assaulted? Of course we're going to get to the bottom of it. And I want to make sure that justice is done, which is exactly -- you know, look, when our folks first sat down with the colleges and universities, my -- I have a lady attorney who sort of led this effort for me.
They didn't quite know what to do. And I said, I don't care about what they know or don't know. We are going to have a system in place to make sure that the women on our college campuses are protected, and if something would happen to them, that justice can be done, that, in fact, the perpetrator can be held.
So, you know, no -- you know, I don't -- that -- that -- it's -- it's -- let's go on.