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. Robyn

    I don't have the relevent statutes at hand, but I would think that this
    would be a clear cut and obvious case of voter tampering and
    would meet the definition of a felony at both the state and federal level.

    Obviously, the Democrats won't want to prosecute this because they don't want to seem mean.
    and the Republicans won't want to prosecute it, because the perpetrator is their possible presidential nominee.
    But we should not let criminals break the law just because it is not "politically correct"
    to make them answer for their crimes.

    Letting a presidential candidate clearly and publicly break the law,
    just because it makes a cute news story,
    shows a callous contempt for our entire system of justice.

    January 14, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  2. JS

    Romney should have taken her to the Champagne Room- but that would've cost him another $150 or so. Dumb as-s!

    January 14, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  3. George Busch

    What!!! I thought all these conservatives were against handouts.

    And no way I am believing Romney carries anything smaller than $100 dollar bills – this whole thing sounds staged.

    January 14, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  4. SERIOUSLY!!!!!

    Will he do this for everyone who is struggling to make ends meet? Doesn't seem like a sincere act.

    January 14, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  5. Snoflurry

    Derek, you are a moron. It's socialism when you use government force to "spread the wealth around" by taxing some and distributing it to others in the name of justice or fairness. He VOLUNTARILY gave HIS money to the lady.

    January 14, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  6. JS

    Romney should have taken her to the Champagne Room- but that would've cost him another $150 or so.

    January 14, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  7. xosro

    lot of very negative wave on this page,put the politicts away for a minute and see the good deed.you'll live happier,,spread the kindness in the world.,

    January 14, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  8. Greenspam

    If President Obama had done something similiar, Republicans would have accused him of socialism and government handout.

    January 14, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  9. Janie

    That's socialism! She should have worked harder and then she wouldn't be struggling.

    January 14, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  10. We Just Have To Wonder

    What a wonderful photo and press opportunity this man concocted! And who's to say the woman was not a "plant" from the audience with an earlier discussion he had with her?

    January 14, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  11. mark

    Romney and his thugs then made this woman donate all the money to his super PAC.

    January 14, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  12. Romney1%er

    If he ever takes the Presidency, God forbid, those handouts will be to the wealthy. He will forget all about the struggling middle class and poor.

    January 14, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  13. mark

    They wouldn't let the woman out the door until she donated all the money back to his campaign.

    January 14, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  14. Johnny Cash

    He still had $9950 to make bets with.

    January 14, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  15. Cash

    He still had nine thousand nine hundred fifty dollars to make bets with.

    January 14, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  16. Allen

    An example of charity the way it ought to be. If every American would find in their heart to do for someone else what Romney has done for this woman, we wouldn't need any more "free stuff" from the Federal Government.

    January 14, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  17. rosey

    Wow $60 bucks for the public show and who knows how much for the story about praying for Romney and the other BS! Haha R we sure the lady even has an ill kid? How true is this sad tale?

    January 14, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  18. justin

    So...its not ok to give a woman 50 bucks buts its ok to give millions of tax payer money to the banks for a "bail out"??! Yep, makes perfect sense. Idiots. Lol

    January 14, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  19. Dr. Dunk...

    I love it! Great story! Sounds like people are finally turning on the lights and waking up to the pathetic state of the Nation. Next its light out for Obama.

    January 14, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  20. Ryan

    What a bunch of pathetic whiners! He helped the lady out! If this $60 would have gone through the government first, the lady would have gotten about $5 of the original $60 after all the paperwork was done.

    January 14, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  21. Ron

    "If you're poor and don't have a job, it's your fault." Isn't that the Republican line? (Cain). And I bet if the truth were known, this poor woman just "envies" the rich. That's essentially what Romney said the other day. If Romney did this out of true compassion, no one would be hearing about it. Period.

    January 14, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  22. Simeon Namore

    If you're poor and a Republican, then you are also very very stupid.

    January 14, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  23. Kandice

    This is just one human giving a hand to another human in need. I'm no supporter of Romney, but I think that him giving a charitable donation out of his own pocket is nowhere near the same thing as taxpayer money going to people indefinitely (such as welfare).

    I think what he did for that woman was a nice thing. However, Ron Paul delivered babies for no pay and refused to take medicare and medicaid from those individuals. I'm still voting for Ron Paul.

    January 14, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  24. me again

    His supporters are the same people who say socialism and welfare is bad. This circus is getting funnier by the minuite.

    January 14, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  25. skytech

    I think that was cool of him to help her out i would if she ask me. And for thouse how say hes trying to buy vote, he never told her to vote for hem. you just don't care about helping out others.

    January 14, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
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