Updated 11:44 PM EDT, Mon, Oct 26, 2020

John Kasich Backtracks on Stereotypical Comment About Latinos: 'Hispanics Play a Critical Role in America'

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Ohio Governor John Kasich recently came under fire for his stereotypical comment about Latinos. Now, the Republican presidential candidate backtracked on his statements and stressed out the importance of the Hispanic community in the U.S.

Speaking during a luncheon hosted at an exclusive golf club in Southern California on Thursday, Kasich complimented Latinos' work ethics and family values. But while doing so, Kasich also seemed to have reduced Hispanic immigrants as service workers, Fox News Latino reported.

"I look at our friends in the Latino community as people that ought to be voting Republican. I mean, they're very strong family. We could all learn a little from them about the importance of family, couldn't we? Because they are great, they are God-fearing, hard-working folks. And a lot of them do jobs that they're willing to do," Kasich said at the GOP gathering, as quoted by The Columbus Dispatch.

He continued, "That's why, in a hotel, you leave a little tip, you know?"

In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, the presidential hopeful backtracked and said that he respects and understands the Hispanic community's contributions in America's economy.

"I've always said that Hispanics are such a critical part of the fabric of the United States," he said, as reported by Fox News Latino. "They occupy jobs from top to bottom. They're so critical to our country. They're God fearing and they're hard working. And that means that they hold very important positions."

Kasich added, "To be clear, I believe that, from top to bottom, Hispanics play a critical role in America, not only today, but going forward."

Thursday's GOP gathering also saw Kasich laying out his immigration stance, which includes building a wall along the border of Mexico and the U.S., but simultaneously working on a potential path to give citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants in America, The Columbus Dispatch wrote.

Jorge-Mario Cabrera, communications director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles Times that majority of the presidential candidates have "lopsided" and "stereotypical" views about immigrants, often thinking of them as only good if they are serving others.

"The comment lacks history, sense of how important immigrants are to our economy, and vision where immigrants are more than just 'the help,'" Cabrera said of Kasich's statement, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

Kasich places moderately in the 2016 Republican presidential field, The Guardian wrote. According to RealClearPolitics.com, he has an average ninth in the polls with a 2.5% support.

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