John Kasich shares emotional hug with young voter who was ‘in a really dark place’

Posted at 9:35 AM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 09:37:18-05

CLEMSON, South Carolina — John Kasich touched on a personal moment he shared with a young supporter at CNN’s Republican town hall on Thursday.

“You’ve got to celebrate other people’s wins, and sometimes, you’ve got to sit with them and cry,” Kasich said.

Kasich’s words came after he met a young voter named Brett Smith from Franklin, Georgia, on the campaign trail in South Carolina on Thursday.

The University of Georgia senior told Kasich that he had once been “in a really dark place” following the suicide of someone close to him, his parent’s divorce and his father’s job loss. The two shared a hug and a few private words.

“We didn’t just connect on polices,” Smith told CNN after Kasich mentioned the moment at the town hall. “We connected emotionally.”

Smith recalled Kasich’s private advice to recognize “how the Lord promises he will always be there for me and keep me safe.”

Smith said Kasich’s bipartisan appeal, along with his personal touch, was why he supported him and, ultimately, why he thinks the Ohio governor can win the presidency.

He added that the moment he shared with the Ohio governor is “something I’m going to treasure for all my life.”