Reporters have spotted Kasich hugs at a hotel in Manchester, N.H., and in a Las Vegas casino after the Dec. 15 GOP debate, among other places. The hugs are a physical manifestation of the "compassion" Kasich talks about in his stump speech, and provided the kind of ending to a town hall event that most candidates only dream about – a real connection with a voter, and in front of the media.
Kasich quickly took to social media to share video of the moment.
He isn't the first candidate to hug supporters. Hillary Clinton turned a touching moment at a Nevada rally into a campaign ad.
Kasich's hugs, and his stump speech, attempt to set him apart from the divisive rhetoric that has pervaded the GOP primary field so far. While he's not expected to do well in South Carolina on Saturday, a string of Midwestern primaries are coming up soon, and Kasich will hope that his open display of Midwestern friendliness gets him a few votes.