U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich answers a question from the audience at a campaign town hall meeting at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire September 2, 2015. At a campaign event on Thursday, Kasich was used an anecdote about tipping his Hispanic maid. Democrats construed the quote as a metaphor for attracting the Latino vote. His campaign disputes that interpretation. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Los Angeles -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich likes the service he gets from Hispanic workers. At the second GOP debate in Simi Valley on Thursday, he may have eaten one of the breakfast burritos prepared by a Mexican immigrant cook who worked a 12-hour graveyard shift at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. He may have enjoyed the sandwiches from the spic-and-span Reagan Library cafeteria, where staff could be heard speaking Spanish to each other hours before GOP candidate Donald Trump argued that candidates should only English.

During the Wednesday debate, Kasich stayed out of the argument on speaking Spanish, or about the immigration policies that could affect the workers at the Reagan Library. But he basked in the hospitality of California service workers, such as the that of the Hispanic maid who served him in Los Angeles hotel.

On Thursday, Kasich made comments about Latino service workers in general using his maid as an example. That plunged him into the debate over the divisive issues surrounding the Latino vote.

"A lot of them do jobs that they're willing to do and, uh, that's why in the hotel you leave a little tip," Kasich said, according to L.A. Times political correspondent Kurtis Lee.

According to Lee, Kasich “appeared to indirectly conflate Latinos and service-industry workers,” following the comment with an anecdote about his maid.

“A lot of them do jobs that they’re willing to do and that’s why, in a hotel, you leave a little tip, you know?” who reportedly chuckled as he addressed a small crowd at the Shady Canyon Golf Club in Irvine, California.

You can read the full account in Lee’s original article, which includes the reactions of local Latino groups, some of whom protested the GOP debates in Simi Valley.

Democrats pounced on Kasich’s tipping comments in a press release on Friday.

“Here’s a tip for John Kasich and the GOP field: try serving instead of stereotyping Latino voters. Try advocating for a path to citizenship, or keeping immigrant families together,” said DNC Factivist Hispanic Media Director Pablo Manriquez.

Kasich spokesman Chris Schrimpf said that the Governor's comments were misunderstood.

"He was talking about how great the service was and how we should respect everyone in our society no matter what their job or position might be," Schrimpf told the Latin Times and other outlets in separate emails.

Update: Kasich campaign points out that Hillary Clinton also talked about immigration and Latinos by using the example of service workers.

Kasich has said in the past that he supports legal status for some of the 11.2 million immigrants in the country illegally, but his view on a pathway to citizenship is vague.

"Let me be clear, I don't favor it and I'm not sure we would ever have to do that. [...] But I'm just not going to pound the table on all these things and say my way or the highway. I will on some things, but I've got to be careful about that," he told CNN in August.

Manriquez says that Kasich would need to go beyond immigration to win the Latino vote.

“Try pushing for policies that will make education more affordable, or will improve health care, or help the middle class,” he said.

Kasich expanded Medicaid in Ohio under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, but opposes other aspects of the program.

"You should know that President Reagan expanded Medicaid three or four times," Kasich said, at the first Republican debate in August.

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