Romney gives cash to struggling supporter at rally
January 14th, 2012
07:36 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney gives cash to struggling supporter at rally

Sumter, South Carolina (CNN) – Mitt Romney gave a handful of cash Saturday to a woman who had told him she was struggling financially after an event in Sumter, South Carolina.

An aide said the GOP candidate gave the supporter "what he had on him" - about $50 or $60.

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The woman, Ruth Williams, met Romney earlier in the week and told him she was having trouble making ends meet. On Saturday, Romney recognized Williams while he was shaking hands with supporters after a rally, an aide said.

Romney spoke to the woman and handed her several bills.

"He was kind to me," Williams said. "He held onto me and he made Gov. [Nikki] Haley and them come see about me."

Williams told reporters that on Wednesday she had seen Romney's campaign bus on the highway and followed it to an airport. Aides then invited her to come meet the former governor at an event in Columbia.

"I was on the highway praying and said, 'God, tell me how to get [my] lights on, and I pulled up to a stop sign and his bus was there,'" Williams said.

Williams has been out of work since October and is caring for an ill son. She said that after meeting Romney she had also met South Carolina state treasurer and Romney supporter Curtis Loftis, and said he had given her money. She said she used the money to pay her light bill.

A Romney campaign aide confirmed Loftis had given Williams money.

Williams has been volunteering at Romney's state headquarters in Columbia since the original meeting, she said.

"God didn't tell me to go to nobody else," she said when asked whether she had approached other presidential candidates. "He told me to pray for Romney."

The cash gift is notable from a candidate who has said he would not give away "free stuff" as president but rather would focus on cutting back on federal spending and stimulating private sector growth.

"I know there are some people who run for president that will say, 'Hey, I'm going to give you more. I'll find a way to give you some more. I'll change the rules and give you more money," Romney said at a December event in Conway, New Hampshire. "I'm not that guy. If there's a competition for who will give you the most free stuff, go vote for that guy."

Also see:

Group backing Gingrich hits Romney for health care law and Bain record

Romney gives cash to struggling supporter at rally

Romney super PAC pummels Santorum and Gingrich by mail

Tim Scott, the ultimate undecided voter


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • South Carolina
soundoff (830 Responses)
  1. geekgirl42

    Could he possibly be more tone-deaf? Wow.

    January 14, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  2. REC

    Why can't he help those poor people he ruined in the movie" when Romney came to town"?

    January 14, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  3. smc

    I see Romney is into "spreading the wealth". Newt would've told her to put a sock in it and get a job.

    January 14, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  4. T'sah From Virginia

    Why is this story so hard to believe???? If MITTens saw this lady earlier, why didn't he give her a CHECK for more than $60. It was not until he "recognized" her later, he handed her what he had in his pocket??

    ►"God didn't tell me to go to nobody else,"◄
    Maybe she should have.

    I hope I am not being mean but it's too perfect.

    January 14, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  5. mirrorlogic

    3rd party says it shows a softer side - softer are cold hard calculating side - $50 – 60 in cash from a million who said people people ENVY the rich? To put this in context a normal calculator can not even do the division to determine the percent of $60 of $194,000,000...without resulting to a (-e) exponential. Shameful ploy to buy votes through heart tugging gimmicks!

    January 14, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    handing out money?! isn't it the "socialism" they always scaring us from?

    January 14, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  7. noelia

    This is awsome

    January 14, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  8. Jay

    "God didn't tell me to go to nobody else,".... what a shame, broke AND stupid.

    January 14, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  9. dgkdgk

    It'd be more impressive if she wasn't a plant and/or if Romney insisted on giving her the cash with no cameras around. Speaking of cash, this man is as phony as a three-dollar bill.

    January 14, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  10. david

    My god!!CNN is a joke for BUYING into this crap..he wants to show he's more than a greedy corp guy. He's such a phony!!!

    January 14, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  11. gogogoff

    Wow, he helps someone, and he is now evil? were they not just attacking him for being a heartless capitalist ? now he is an evil philanthropist ?

    January 14, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  12. OrangeW3dge

    A plant or a photo-op, it's these kind of stories that become legend.
    I suppose he will heal a blind person in Dallas...

    January 14, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  13. Angie

    I really would like to believe this was truly a selfless act of compassion. Unfortunately, my BS meter is going off and I can't seem to find the off button. Nothing this man says or does seems genuine to me.

    January 14, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  14. h

    What a big deal

    January 14, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  15. polycarp_pio

    Folks why do you have to be so cynical, how do you know he didnt do it from the heart??????? PP

    January 14, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  16. Gino

    Romney is a sickening poser and charlatan. His handout is disgusting.

    January 14, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  17. jason1

    Was it pandering? Probably, to make him look good. But not as pathetic as Obama's photo-op shopping tour with his dog, because Romney's was impromptu, and Obama's was preplanned solely for the publicity.

    January 14, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  18. class envy

    wasn't he the one who stated the middle class envy the wealthy

    this is such a political maneuver, he has no heart for the poor

    January 14, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  19. Martin Miles

    He's worth over 260 million... $50 is like half a penny to him! Thanks Romney! He would never do that if he wasn't trying to buy votes!

    January 14, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  20. TheDudeAbides

    Is it political theater? Is it a genuine human reaction? You know what I think? I think it's 60 bucks and some help paying the electric bill. And that's that.. There is no such thing as insincere charity. The action supersedes any intention.

    God Bless ya, Mitt.

    -OBAMA SUPPORTER

    January 14, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  21. Don

    Well you had to see this coming, Romney knows he cannot win any other way so now he is trying to buy his way into office. Yep, seems Romney is just your average Republican, if you cannot win buy the election, must be using the GW Bush playbook on that o ne.

    January 14, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  22. FiveAcre65

    Great PR move...plenty of supporters and cameras around to catch his generosity.

    Likely got back to the office and said "I need to be reimbursed sixty bucks, Shirley, take it out of petty cash".

    January 14, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  23. Sean D.

    Since it is difficult sometimes to detect sarcasm in a "post" I will just have to hope that all of those who commented that this is "buying votes" or that he did this to try and get some type of recognition, did it with sarcasm in mind. Otherwise, here is to hoping that instant karma comes and gets you and you are the one's hoping and praying for a small miracle in your life It really does amaze me how easy something good is turned bad and how something bad is turned good by small myopic thinkers. After all isn't the handing out of money EXACTLY what the left wing wants. A fair share for everyone regardless of effort, skill, or need. Good luck with that when you can't accept something as basic as this as nice. The reality is, this isn't even news. It just must have been a REAL slow controversy day at CNN. Whenever that happens it gets created. Well... Here ya go. It's been created.

    January 14, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  24. mirrorlogic

    "God didn't tell me to go to nobody else," she said when asked whether she had approached other presidential candidates. "He told me to pray for Romney." - this implies this lady talked with God...or at least directly heard him....Hmmm? Now that certainly makes things interesting. Petty God did not just tell her the upcoming loto numbers so she could really be okay. Instead $60 bucks from Willard and her lights are back on ...and he tries to show a softer side after saying poor Americans ENVY the rich. Come on America you must be brighter than to fall for that cheap trick.

    January 14, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  25. Don

    @Randy, then I guess your respect is bought for as little as this woman's vote was bought for, you Republicans should get bought off cheap to do the dirtiest deeds ever, no wonder you fools thought GW Bush was a 'good' President, so I ask, any of you Republicans, even just one, have a brain?

    January 14, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
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