Romney gives cash to struggling supporter at rally
January 14th, 2012
07:36 PM ET
3 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. westward

    Now he finally gives the middle class something -- when he wants something. So NOT surprised here.

    If he were really interested in helping out the poor, he would not have made so many people poor to begin with. And that goes for his policies that basically rob the middle class and poor to pad the pockets of the rich too.

    January 14, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  2. Frances

    Is a good gesture, however for as rich as he is he could help her with a decent amount.

    January 14, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. Nick

    There is a HUGE difference between giving personal money away versus the government giving money away. Those that are trying to link the two are either trolling or are completely clueless.

    January 14, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  4. MLS

    Nice gesture, but we are not forgetting your animal cruelty past...

    January 14, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  5. mirrorlogic

    Did you read the one from 'lps' that at least he gave her his money...$60 from Romney is like a penny from a regular American...in fact I think the penny wins! Seriously, this is almost degrading that he would go to such a low level.

    January 14, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  6. TRUMPHATER

    Keep praying. That's why you are broke and stupid.

    January 14, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  7. across12

    Pittance to the poor.

    January 14, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  8. Jeff

    That isn't new coming from romney he said something and do the opposite obama 2012 we need a president who won't let middle class American be crush by the thiefs GOP

    January 14, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. Lawyersblow

    IWhen I read the Headline, I thought, Oh Oh, we have another Edwards here!

    January 14, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  10. Sean D.

    One more thing. She ALREADY WAS a Romney supporter. This didn't sway her or buy anything And finally for those criticizing because 60 bucks to Romney is like five cents to the normal person. Why don't you go give until it hurts before you expect someone rich to do it.

    January 14, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  11. Robert Yarush

    I've never heard of such a patronizing gesture in my life....

    January 14, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  12. HeWhoSeeks

    I dont know what to say..Im speechless. okay, calm down a bit...I thought only liberals had hearts, seems I was mistaken, Mitt Romney and one of my co-workers, I will leave un named to save her embarrassement are the only Republicans I know with any compassion.

    January 14, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  13. Indi-in-ID

    Why not $10k? What a cheap SOB! Makes frivolous bets with another SOB in a debate, but throws pennies to the economically challenged. This guy doesn't really want to lead us to prosperity, he just wants to be President. Probably one upping his dad who didn't quit make it.

    January 14, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  14. xosro

    he is a good man,he'll make a good president if he gets ellected,,,& there is nothing wrong with reaching out.

    January 14, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  15. Uzi

    It's all staged. This from a guy who had his dog on top of his car "an we know what happen" an laugh about it in a interview. Yeah it's staged.

    January 14, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  16. GOP scam

    Romney has said he is running on his record of job creation at Bain Capital, but he is outraged that the other republican candidates are exposing his record of killing jobs at Bain Capital. Arrogant disconnect!

    January 14, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  17. GOP scam

    Romney has said he is running on his record of job creation at Bain Capital, but he is outraged that the other republican candidates are exposing his record of job destruction at Bain Capital. Arrogant disconnect!

    January 14, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  18. mirrorlogic

    Okay let's put this in perspective. $60 from a person making $40,000 a year is .015 percent of their money. The lower end estimate of Willard Mitts salary is $194,000,000 (some estimate 250million). But using $194M === if you take .015 percent that means whereby a regular American hands over $60; Romney should give $291,000 - does that show how silly this shallow act really was?

    January 14, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  19. JohnRJ08

    Hate to sound cynical, but this sounds terribly staged.

    January 14, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  20. struggling in jersey

    It's a lot easier to stand at a podium and flippantly tell people to get jobs than it is to look an un- or underemployed person with a hard-luck story in the eye and say the same thing, isn't it, Gov. Romney?
    That being said...$60, Daddy Warbucks?? That's not likely to get anyone's electricity bill paid, much less anyone who's so far behind their power is about to get shut off.
    Lastly, the bit about G-d telling Ms. Williams to follow your bus and volunteer for your campaign is a bit much for secularists to believe and the evangelicals aren't going for you anyway, so what was the point of this bit of stagecraft?

    January 14, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  21. Snoflurry

    I would rather a politician hand money out of his own pocket than to reach into mine and give my money away to others!!!!!!

    January 14, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  22. tim

    In ky, they also kick in a bottle of whiskey as well. If he had truly wanted to help her, he would have given her some real money, and kept his mouth shut. As it says in the scriptures, he has already recieved his due.

    January 14, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  23. Mike

    I thought he was a "job creator." Shouldn't he have created her a job instead? What's with this redistribution of wealth? No more welfare for these lazy people!

    January 14, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  24. Kelly

    Does that woman really think that Romney cares about her? She has been used for his own political posturing.

    January 14, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  25. Dennis Bell

    You gotta hand it to him; even Newt didn't think of this one.

    January 14, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
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