After hanging on until the “bitter end,” John Kasich cried when he ended his failed presidential bid, the former governor said in a new podcast.
Kasich shared insights about the end of his 2016 campaign against former President Donald Trump during a Thursday episode of Kasich & Klepper, a podcast he launched this year with comedian Jordan Klepper. The show aims to bring together people with different views to discuss politics, pop culture and more.
Kasich dropped out of the GOP presidential primary in May 2016 when it became clear Trump would secure the nomination, although he had long been mathematically eliminated from the race. Kasich claimed victory in just one state: Ohio.
During the podcast, Kasich said he was on a plane to a fundraiser when he decided to call it quits.
“I was really hoping that we would block (Trump) and then people would come to their senses,” Kasich said. “But when it was over, we got off the plane…I went behind this building, and I cried. I had one cry. Then I went to my daughter’s school – and that was really hard – and they had gotten wind of it and then they came out and gave me a big hug.”. But then it was over. It was a wonderful experience.”
As Kasich discussed the theme of quitting with Klepper and “Modern Family” star Julie Bowen, he said he was comfortable walking away from Congress and reaching the end of his tenure as governor.
“People say, ‘Do you miss being governor?’ It is a powerful position in the 7th-largest state,” he said. “And I said no because I knew what was going to come, and the job doesn’t define me.”
Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in Delaware County on Saturday to stump for U.S. Senate contender J.D. Vance and a slate of local congressional candidates who secured his endorsement. The former president has not publicly backed anyone in the governor’s race.
You can listen to the full episode here:
Haley BeMiller is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.