On Monday night in Richmond, Virginia, Republican presidential candidate John Kasich spoke to a crowd of several hundred at the University of Richmond. Kayla Solsbak, a student, was one of those several hundred in attendance.
During the question-and-answer portion of Kasich's talk, Solsbak reportedly raised her hand to ask a question, only to have Kasich tell her, "I'm sorry, I don't have Taylor Swift tickets. She wrote in the student newspaper, The Collegian:
My hand was raised, my body half-way out of my back-row seat, when Gov. John Kasich finally acknowledged me.
"I'm sorry, I don't have any Taylor Swift concert tickets," he said, his eyes meeting mine.
The older members of the audience chuckled as my friends' jaws dropped to the floor. It was astonishingly clear that Gov. Kasich did not come to Richmond for my vote.
Solsbak intimated Kasich's dismissal had something to do with the fact that she was a young woman, writing, "He touted his ambitious energy as an 18-year-old man, but as soon as I, an 18-year-old woman, exhibited ambition, I became the target of his joke." She also noted that she believed he was dismissive of another woman's question about Planned Parenthood.
Solsbak also tossed in a mean burn about Kasich's walk-in song, "Shut Up And Dance":
While my friends all found it out of place, I realized that the song's title accurately reflects Kasich's message to young voters: shut up and elect me. If the candidate wants to connect with my peers, he can't do it through superficial pop culture references. If he wants our votes, he needs to listen to our voices and address the issues we care about.
Another University of Richmond student, Dylan McAuley, wrote a response to Solsbak's piece in the Collegian, disagreeing with Solsbak's interpretation of the event and calling it "a fallacy, plain and simple." After claiming he has the receipts but not actually posting the receipts, McAuley says Solsbak was waving "her arm back and forth to get attention," and said the Taylor Swift remark referred to "the level of excitement being exuded by the author was that of a teen Taylor Swift fan trying to get tickets to a concert."
Both can probably agree that the joke doesn't make much sense.
UPDATE: Here's the video.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.