John Kasich praised Bill Cosby's 'tremendous character' in 2006

'I think it showed tremendous character to stand up and take on his entire community'

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Republican Presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich sells himself as an authority on morality in his 2006 book Stand For Something: The Battle for America's Soul.

In it, Mr Kasich lambasts popular hip-hop/neo soul band The Roots, calling the music “offensive drivel” and threw it out the window of his car. [Note: He didn’t take a stand against littering in the book.]

What may be even more alarming is his praise of embattled comedian Bill Cosby, which begins on page 214. He heralds Mr Cosby’s criticisms of young black men, which garnered backlash in the mid-2000s. Here is an excerpt:

 “Cosby’s comments took America by surprise, coming as they did from someone who was accustomed to making us laugh instead of making us think, and his position infuriated a great many leaders in the black community, but that’s why his message was so powerful. He dared to articulate an unpopular view in order to bring about change, and in the fallout set in motion a kind of crusade to bring that message to anyone who might have missed his NAACP speech. ‘It’s not all right for your fifteen-year-old daughter to have a child,’ he admonished an audience of about two thousand in a Milwaukee high school. And he shocked another thousand or so fans in an Atlanta audience by criticizing single mothers for having sex within their children’s hearing—“and then four days later you bring another man into the house.” In another appearance he blasted “lower-economic people” for buying their kids $500 sneakers instead of “Hooked on Phonics.”

He continues:

“Unfortunately (although, perhaps, predictable), Cosby has been ridiculed and attacked for his comments, and I imagine it will cost him over the long haul, in terms of his concert ticket sales or his Q rating, but I think it showed tremendous character to stand up and take on his entire community. He’s standing up, and being heard, and voicing a view for too long people have been unwilling to put into words. All that great comedy he did over the years means nothing to me compared to what he’s saying here.” 

Since the publication of Mr Kasich’s moral opus, Mr Cosby’s ‘tremendous character’ has been called into question. More than 40 women have publicly accused the former actor of sexual assault. In recently released court documents, Mr Cosby testified to drugging women for sex in 2005.

The public allegations of rape reportedly began as early as 2002, with incidents taking place in the 1980s.

Robert Nichols, press secretary for Mr Kasich, said the Governor has withdrawn support for Mr Cosby: "Knowing what we know now, of course not."

However, the spokesman has yet to clarify if the Governor still stands with Mr Cosby's comments on the black community.