Despite being almost 678 miles from Columbus, it seemed he was speaking to a home crowd under the Liberty Oak as the sun set behind Harbour Town in Sea Pines Resort.
The colors and logos of his alma mater, Ohio State University, dotted the shirts of nearly half of the about 175 attendees there, and more than a dozen cars in the parking lot wore Ohio license plates.
The home-crowd dynamic wasn't lost on Kasich, who used the opportunity to draw from his tenure as governor to make his case for the economic and educational policies he would push if elected president.
He didn't miss an opportunity for Ohio punchlines, either.
"Look, there's a lady here wearing a Michigan shirt," Kasich joked, referencing Ohio State's bitter sports rival, the University of Michigan. "I mean, I can disagree with her, but that doesn't mean I should hate her -- except for one day out of the year."
Kasich used the analogy to highlight the importance of working across party lines, a trait he argues he exemplified during his nine terms in Congress and as a part of the team that created the Balanced Budget Act in 1997.
"If you don't work together, you don't have a team, and if you don't have a team, you have what you've had the last few years up in Ann Arbor," he continued later to the biggest applause and laughter of the evening. "I've got Ohio State people here; I've got to go back to Ohio."
Aside from rivalries, Kasich focused much of his 45-minute question-and-answer session Friday on parties working together, the U.S. working more closely with allies and presenting a more unified Congress, he said.
To that end, he praised this week's visit by Pope Francis and the reception he has received from young people, the administration, Congress and the United Nations, he said.
"One of the most significant things I've seen -- that has revealed something about ourselves and has revealed something about our world -- has been this incredible visit by the pope," he said. "I was so struck yesterday to see the crowd standing on the mall in Washington, (D.C.)
"I think our country, and I think a large part of the world wants to see a message of hope and not just a message of division and fighting," he continued. "I think we want believe our best days are ahead of us."
Earlier Friday, Kasich made stops in Charleston to speak with business leaders and the Citadel Republican Society. After his talk in Harbour Town, Kasich was scheduled to fly to Iowa, where he has just recently ramped up campaign efforts.
"We don't want to disrespect anybody in any of the states, whether it's Iowa, whether it's South Carolina," Kasich said. "Our greatest emphasis has been in New Hampshire because it's a primary election, not a caucus, but we're working through all this."
Kasich is due back in Beaufort County on Nov. 11 with U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.
Scott is hosting a series of town-hall style forums with the Republican candidates across the state this fall. An exact time and location for that forum has not yet been announced.