Washington (CNN)Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Tuesday that opponents had distorted his comment about a tip for a hotel maid and explained he was trying to illustrate the importance of slowing down and valuing every person.
John Kasich explains hotel maid comment
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Kasich's comment at a California golf club last month -- "that you leave a little tip" for housekeepers -- drew a mixed response from Hispanic groups last month, and outrage from Democrats.
U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Javier Palomarez, who has defended Kasich, asked him again about the comment at an event in Washington. Kasich explained that he was happy with a note his hotel maid had left in his room and that, because "life can move about 100 miles an hour" the note helped him slow down and take notice.
"I'm glad I slowed down to notice that lady," Kasich said at an event hosted by the chamber at the Newseum.
As Palomarez was asking Kasich about the comment, he mentioned a tweet from Hillary Clinton blasting Kasich, where she called him "another product in the party of Trump" in Spanish.
Kasich quickly cut in and said, "That's because she's petrified that she'll run against me in November."
Palomarez said after the event that he was understanding of Kasich's explanation, in part, because he knows that candidates like Kasich and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders come from states with small Hispanic populations and may trip over themselves sometimes.
Palomarez said he spoke with Kasich before the event and Kasich explained himself before going on stage.
"He was very sincere about the fact that, 'Hey, I hope I didn't offend anyone, Javier,'" Palomarez said.