Awkward: Republican Presidential Candidate John Kasich Asks a Woman if She's Been on a Diet

His campaign said he often asks this question to explain government debt.

John Kasich, the governor of Ohio and Republican presidential candidate, has caused controversy a couple of times in recent months with remarks he's made that have been deemed offensive to women and minorities. Has he learned his lesson since then? Not quite.

During a town hall discussion in Dubuque, Iowa, on Tuesday, Kasich sought to explain his experience balancing his state's budget. Basically, he was trying to make the point that it's hard to do—*real* hard. But instead of talking about fiscal gains or budgetary cuts, he asked a woman in the crowd whether she had ever been on a diet. Yes, really. 

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News site Mic has the play-by-play on the interaction:

"Have you ever been on a diet?" Kasich said to a woman. The woman replied, "Many times," to which he laughed and responded "Well, you're the perfect example." "So you set a goal and you reach it, and then what happens? A little spumoni, a trip to Mario's," Kasich said, apparently referring to an Italian dessert and a local restaurant, both of which can get in the way of this woman sticking to her diet.

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The Kasich campaign—which didn't respond to Marie Claire's request for comment—told Mic in a statement that Kasich "frequently poses that question to audiences...to bring home the need for us to stand up and call on the federal government to rein-in its spending."

Last month, Kasich insulted a young female student during a campaign stop at the University of Richmond, by responding to her raising her hand with, "I'm sorry, I don't have any Taylor Swift concert tickets."

In September, he tried to compliment Latinos, but ended up offering an awkward (and borderline insulting) reference to his hotel room's maid.

Back in 2012, Kasich appeared at a rally for then Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, telling the audience that the wives of politicians are at home "doing laundry" and "taking care of the kids" while men like him are making important speeches.

While none of Kasich's comments seem to be coming from a place of malice, does it really matter? Casual misogyny, sexism, and racism are still those things. In any case, asking if someone is on a diet is just a big NOPE all around. 

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