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."
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With regard to all the "buying votes" comments. At least it his own money. Obama buys votes using other peoples money.
Isn't buying votes illegal?
Well, that's one way to buy votes.
It would have been so much easier for him not to, and he could have avoided all the negative press. I think giving that woman the money in his pocket was not just compassionate, it was courageous.
When are we going to realise that these are all marketing tactics? When will the media stop blowing these things totally out of proportion and evaluate a candidate on their basis? Media are after your eyeballs and it is time you stopped paying attention to these things and check what the stand of the candidate on important issues.
I love that the report tries to paint Romney as a hypocrite because he stated in campaign speeches he doesn't think the government should give handouts. Well, he is a person, and if a person wants to do a moral thing like give charity to a less fortunate individual, the last thing they deserve is criticism. Remember the lady that went to Obama rally who mentioned she lost her home? Obama said he will try to help her after the rally. She's still homeless.
"Christian charity seems to be so unusual in this country that the biased liberal media can't name it in a news report.".........................
Putrid pandering. And super-millionaire Romney forking over 50 dollars is like most of us tossing a couple of quarters into a hat.
I can't believe people here are accusing him of buying a vote. People sicken me.
How sad wait until you do not have a penny there are countless of homeless people struggling in America and just a dollar or two from you rich folks would make a difference. I respect Romney because he did it from his heart. Try it give 5 dollars to someone homeless and see the smile on his or her face. Economic hard times are coming.
How often is he helping people who are struggling? His change would have stayed in his pocket if the cameras weren't there.
Pathetic pandering. And super-millionaire Romney handing over 50 dollars is like most of us tossing a couple of quarters into a hat.
"Hand a few pennies out to the little folks. Make their eyes green and they'll vote for me, the little peasants."
Sounds like distribution to me.... The rich giving to the poor.... How socialist of Romney!
"Christian charity seems to be so unusual in this country that the biased liberal media can't name it in a news report.".........................What are you trying to say? That most American Christians are not christian?
Yeah, right... If I was a Democrat I would probably think he was trying to buy her vote. But I'm not a Democrat and I STILL think that is what he was doing.
At least he paid her. Bill Clinton didn't give Monica Lewinsky a dime.
We commited 3.3 billion 2 hattie. the rest of the world 2.5 bikion.money we dont have.
This is very much like Mitt. Let's be clear, tough. Don't make it sound like he's being unfaithful to his principles in helping this woman. When he talked about no giveaways he meant of TAX MONEY. Like most conservatives, he believes in the old 1,000 points of light idea of those able to help opening up and helping the less fortunate VOLUNTARILY, rather than having the federal govrnment decide how much of one's money must go to the needy.
Welcome to the Third World. Next step: giving away wheel chairs to the invalid ones ...
So obvious. The bible says when you give money, you shouldn't let anyone know.
Wow!!!!....$50 or $60 bucks?!?!?!,....she'll be able to get that operation for little Timmy now....
If a Mormon becomes president i am seriously considering moving to mexico
OMG!!!! What has happened to you if you think someone being nice is buying votes. What is wrong with you people? Give it up some people are nice and respectful in this world. Glad all of you that think he bought a vote. I am glad you can read his mind. Why don't you get a life and think positive for a change rather then bash and assume. To make the world a great place to live we have to live with respect and honesty.