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. cheap stunt

    Romney still doesn't get it. He's just another wealthy man who thinks he can buy people. $60 is litterally a cheap stunt.

    January 14, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  2. connieb

    Oh brother.

    January 14, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  3. ToniLynn

    What he said...what she said. He makes my skin crawl.

    January 14, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  4. pasinez

    There's government hand outs and there's charity. Ya'll stop showing your ignorance.

    January 14, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  5. Conrad

    I would have hoped he would have directed her to someone in South Carolina government who could have helped her in a more substantial way. Also hope the cash he gave her wasn't just for a photo op or PR.

    January 14, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  6. Independent Thought

    And reporters just happened to be there! How perfect.

    January 14, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  7. Jeff

    So funny to read stupid comments on this board....like Romney is trying to buy a vote. Get a life, people.

    January 14, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  8. skytech

    I think that was cool of him to help her out, i would if she ask me, and for those who say he is trying to buy vote, he never told her to go out and vote for him. you just don't like him, and don't care about helping out others.

    January 14, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  9. BiminiBob

    I think he broke election law when he did this.

    January 14, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  10. memahoney

    Start looking into the Mormon connections. They are ruthless business people. And absolute separatists when it comes to socialization. they leave the mainstream at junior high age. Associate only with fellow Mormons. Marry only Mormons. Have their 6 kids and go into seclusion with other Mormons. Why isn't this all coming out now?

    January 14, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  11. Greg

    That's 1 unemployed down Mitt. That's 31,999,999 more to go. Is that how he's going to fix the economy? Even Mitt doesn't have enough money to buy off all the voters. Honestly CNN, This is how we're going to play it? Mitt cares. He just gave out 1/100,000 of his annual income. That's like dropping a quarter and being to lazy to pick it up.

    January 14, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  12. ROBERT

    I think that was cool of him to help her out, i would if she ask me, and for those who say he is trying to buy vote, he never told her to go out and vote for him. you just don't like him, and don't care about helping out others.

    January 14, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  13. Mk54

    Romney could afford to give away $1000 every hour for the rest of his life and his fortune would still grow.....and he wouldn't even have to run for President to get attention wherever he goes.

    January 14, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  14. Gavin

    OK, so for all you saying what he did was illegal, and he's buying votes, etc, etc – I guess it's ok for a candidate to promise to give somebody somebody else's money, but it's not ok to give somebody their own? Pathetic. Obama buys votes by giving away taxpayer money, at least Romney is using his own. For all you critics out there: how much in charitable giving did you do last year? Should be an easy number to come up with, now that we're in tax season. If you actually file a return. And no, I'm not a Romney fan. I'm just amazed at the number of people incensed by the goodwill of others.

    January 14, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  15. Mitt will win 2012

    Mitt Romney will win in 2012 and save America from the corrupt administration currently in power... God bless America.

    January 14, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  16. Alkebu

    The gesture was in his mind an act of kindness. Or a media opportunity. I see it as him being very condescending and the so called gesture dose little to nothing to solve her long term issue(s). It speaks volumes to his perception of the nation at large and his lack of being in touch with the day to day issues facing the average citizen. The citizens of the United States should take a long hard look at the person and his character. What he says and does and how often he takes a stand and stick to it. I hope his handlers and the executive staff can find a way to let him know if he can't do something that actually helps someone then don't do anything. Because it won't be seen as a genuine act of kindness.

    January 14, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  17. Kevin

    Isn't it funny when you're confronted with poverty face to face you want to help, but when the poverty is far away, it's easy to turn a blind eye and not care or think someone is a bum?

    January 14, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  18. Mavent

    There is literally nothing Romney won't do to pander to whoever he's talking to. Once the actual Election starts, he'll be back to telling Liberals that he's a Liberal, Gay's that he's Gay, and women that he's a gay liberal.

    January 14, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  19. Lynn

    I don't want a handout...... I want a GOOD, UNION job with a LIVING WAGE!

    January 14, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  20. Vin Dicated

    I must be getting cynical because I read this and I think either A) She was a plant by Romney's people or B) He just bought her vote.

    January 14, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  21. TeaOrKoolAid

    Wow obvious plant. When he is being demonized as a selfish multi millionaire out of touch and making his money at the expense of others. He just happened to show this act of compassion
    Was this Mrs. Joe the Plumber? A pathetic attempt at deceit in an attempt to gain support and sway public opinion.

    January 14, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  22. Remember Ronald Reagan

    Why do people take these things way out of proportion, I think its very generous what Governor Romney did for this women, this is truly an act of kindness that alot of Americans need to learn from. If you are truly a leader, you will lead by example, and Mr. Romney is that leader.

    January 14, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  23. cashstrapped

    Awfully nice of him to do that, but voting republican will not get your lights turned back on. They are more for the company that turned your lights off than you.

    January 14, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  24. AhhPures

    So now he is buying votes. $60 per vote. Send it to me, I'll vote for ya. Also, the nut bag woman who hears God talking to her probably spent 20 dollars in gas chasing Romney around town. I guess she can afford that, huh? Sounds like a cheap setup to me.

    January 14, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Romney felt bad for some one. Just because he is delluded about the world and economy doesn't make him not human. Perhaps there is hope for the right after all

    January 14, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
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