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. David

    Can I have some of that?

    January 14, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  2. Vote GOP

    Republican Mitt is IT in 2012.

    January 14, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  3. john

    a nice gesture. and that's about all it is in terms of swaying my opinion of romney as a person. pretty sure $50 isn't going to clear this woman's debts. but hey, I'm sure it does help.

    January 14, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  4. Hilary

    he just did exactly what he is advocating the government NOT do. help people who are struggling. does he really think that most of the folks of welfare (in any form) are just looking for a hand out? don't get me wrong, there are those that are, however, MOST and I argue a large, very large majority, are just looking to get by. ... sheesh.

    January 14, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  5. Snoop

    You're all very sad people. Apparently nobody is allowed to do something nice without having an ulterior motive.

    January 14, 2012 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  6. Marty

    The obamabots are really up in arms over this one!

    January 14, 2012 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  7. Jane

    He ought to give Obama some money...he's gonna need it soon when he's out of a job

    January 14, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  8. Joshua Ludd

    Now if we had only had fewer people making their money by being middle men who didn't care if others got hurt so long as they made a profit without ever having to make a product or sell a service we might not have so many people in her situation or worse.

    January 14, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    He ONLY had $50 or $60 on him. This jerk is too much. I guess he thought after his ENVIOUS remark he had to do some back peddling. What a con artist.

    January 14, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  10. Spendlove

    This guy sticks, so bad I won't repeat his vile name.

    January 14, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  11. ccr

    Mitt has always been a charitable person. He's not a broadcaster of alms. He would much prefer that never be known. I'm sure Mitt would beat ANY of the professed Christians/concerned for the poor candidates in charitable contributions % over their life time. Mitt is not a believer in gov't handouts, but he does believe in helping others!

    January 14, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  12. Meki60

    boy, anything to boost the stupid Obama, how bout the $T he gave to 'supporter' companies, where was CNN then

    January 14, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  13. Xavier

    Now if only he would that for every person whose job he destroyed.

    January 14, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  14. Phil

    I think this makes Romney a Democrat now.

    January 14, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    How is the guy buying votes? You people are so hung up on doing the wrong thing, you cant handle it when someone does the right thing.

    January 14, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  16. Cat222

    NOT IMPRESSED! She probably was a plant.....political gimmick! Obama 2012!

    January 14, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  17. kenmat

    He actually hired her for a job. Then, as he was leaving, he whispered: "You're fired."

    January 14, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  18. sule

    He is worth millions and gives a struggling lady 50 bucks. Come on. If he really wanted to help, get her contact and help her. Like $10000. Sounds like photo op to me.

    January 14, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  19. MV

    Instead of giving her 0.00000025% of his net worth, he should advocate for policies that will help her.

    January 14, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  20. Bill

    I bet you $10,000 she was a plant.

    January 14, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  21. Michael

    Unfortunately, if Romney somehow became president, she would get a lot poorer, and would have much more company in her poverty, as Mittens gave even more money to the rich. Kinda ironic.

    January 14, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  22. Zipwizard

    That is a nice gesture...but he should of hired her at $1000's a week...so she has a high paying political field job. With millions donated a job that pays at least $25,000 for campaign work would have been more impressive if he wanted to help someone already on his side as a campaign worker.

    January 14, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  23. svann

    We dont want freebies and we dont want to beg for work either. We want employment to be a Fair Trade.

    January 14, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  24. donna

    It's got to be illegal.

    January 14, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  25. babyunk

    Who ever heard of a power bill being 60 dollars these days

    January 14, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
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