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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As if he has a heart...
Hey, isn't that socialism!!
I agree with walter – but I add that workers aren't trash to be tossed once they no longer prove useful. I think that for what it's worth, what Mitt did was nice, but too bad he can't let this change the way he thinks about the poor. Until all the Republicans do, I don't want ANY of them running the country.
Yeah, right after he comes under attack for talking about how happy he is about firing people who just aren't delivering services fast enough-he comes up with this transparent bit of Spin Control. Handing out money to a woman. What's next-anyone who's broke and homeless can have their pets move in with the Romneys?
If you're wondering Romney's sincerity–look into his personal background; his service to his church and his community; literally hundreds and hundreds of hours of quiet discreet giving and caring.
Only small minds take big pleasure by attempting to belittle minor items in order make their own lives bigger. These small minds find minor items in the "news" (or what seems to pass for it in the minds of some). Go back to the TV and goon out on sports until you can find something worth a comment.
Walter- in free enterprise, employees are NOT partners. To everyone else: Romney's trivial act of charity was nothing more than that, an act of private charity. It doesn't change my opinion of him in the least. He's still only slightly preferable to Obama who probably would have offered her someone else's $50 or $60.
Romneys church-my church teaches us to be charitable and we receive blessings in return
Now Romney will be inundated with people wanting money. Maybe he woud've been better off if he'd asked around to connect her with resources although I lived in South Carolina for five years and there aren't that many resources or good paying jobs available. I wish the woman well. I hope her situation will improve due to her own initiative.
How about giving the woman a job instead of a handout??!! Oh wait, she probably wasn't black!
Those Mormons just eat jello and drink hot chocolate. Romney has money!
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day...
i don't think it was a stunt but that lady sure sounds like a kook....I think he was probably just paying her to stop following his bus around!! Everyone knows Ron Paul is the only one of the GOP candidates who cares about people. It is kind of fun watching the others spend all the PAC cash on criticizing each other for being rich and beholden to special corporate interests (especially when they all are)... All the attacks are accomplishing is laying the groundwork for Obama.
I am not a Romney supporter, but it was an act of charity from the guy who did not take a salary as Governor, as head of the Olympics and has pledged to take no salary as president. No reason to denigrate this type of behavior
I invy her and all his millions that he can't prove he paid any taxes on and the people that are unemployed because of his personal actions. He's a PEACH.
Buying votes is against the law. Romney should be forced to drop his bid and be prosecuted.
Wow, what a cynical bunch! Maybe he just wanted to help her. Good grief.
President Romney: solving AMerica's problems by throwing money at them.
What a Liberal!
He gave it in private. It wasn't meant to be a public offering. Everyone helps people out like this, its not that big of deal.
I bet he claims it on his taxes as a charitable contribution
This is just a set up to make himself look like he cares to voters when he really doesn't. Anyone who is buying this actually just got bought by Romney.
Too bad Romney stole the money from someone he fired.
Did you say hand full of cash? And it was only 50-60 dollars? You call that hand full of cash? That is all he had on him? WOW, what a story?
Isn't that SPECIAL???