Our View: Kasich chooses advice over answers

Republican presidential-nominee John Kasich found himself again in metaphorical hot water after presenting his solution to college sexual assault at a town hall in Watertown, New York, April 15.

A female college student asked Kasich how he would help her “feel safer and more secure regarding sexual violence, harassment and rape” as president. Kasich began by listing the initiatives Ohio has taken under him as governor, but then wanted to offer her some personal advice: “ … don’t go to parties where there is a lot of alcohol.” 

This comes after the much-maligned Kasich angered voters in February by telling a crowd in Virginia that many women  “left their kitchens” to help him win his first term as an Ohio Senator. The latest comments have left him in no better off—the Buckeye state governor has faced backlash from Planned Parenthood and the Democratic National Committee, amongst others.

Kasich defended his stance during an interview with CNN Sunday, saying he wasn’t implying victims of sexual assault were to blame, only that alcohol “obscures the ability of people to seek justice” after an attack. 

Truthfully, his statement is correct:  A 2007 study for the National Institute of Justice found 89 percent reported drinking alcohol and 82 percent reported being drunk before their victimization. And college parties frequently feature drinking.

The issue is not in his research, in fact Ohio is one of the few states to set aside money to collect data and educate colleges on how to respond to sexual assault. Even Scott Berkowitz, president of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network or RAINN, has said that Kasich’s done the work to “back it up,” according to an article from Cincinnati.com.

The point is not that Kasich’s statistics are flawed or illogical—it’s in his delivery. Kasich chose the route of victim-blaming by doling out advice on how females should avoid parties and drinking instead of proposing a real solution: teaching men to respect women.