U.S. Republican presidential candidate John Kasich drew scorn Monday after a video emerged in which he told an assembled crowd that early in his career, he gleaned support from women who "left their kitchens" to campaign.

The comments were made in reference to his 1978 run for state senate, according to a spokesman, and not his current presidential campaign, in which he is running fifth nationally for the Republican nomination, Reuters-Ipsos polling suggests.

"We just got an army of people who, and many women, who left their kitchens to go out and go door-to-door and to put yard signs up," Kasich says in the footage at an event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Kasich added that his first campaign took place in an era in which "things were different."

"Now you call homes and everybody's out working," Kasich said. Later in the video, an unseen audience member seems to criticize the Ohio governor for his comment.

"I want to say, your comment earlier, about the women came out of the kitchen to support you: I'll come to support you but I won't be coming out of the kitchen."

The response on social media was swift and negative, with many Twitter users, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, decrying Kasich's anecdote as sexist and outdated.

Rob Nichols, press secretary for Kasich, confirmed that the comments were in reference to the candidate's 1978 campaign and told Reuters that the Ohio governor's political campaigns "have always been homegrown affairs."

"Many of his early campaign teams were made up of stay-at-home moms who believed deeply in the changes he wanted to bring," Nichols said. "He's proud of that authentic support. To try and twist his comments into anything else is just desperate politics."

Some social media users compared Kasich's comment to former Republican candidate Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" moment from the 2012 presidential campaign, when the former Massachusetts governor described receiving large quantities of resumés from women.

Intended to be a statement on his commitment to gender diversity, the comment struck many at the time as tone deaf.