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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$60 for thousands of dollars worth of free publicity. Yeah right, it only counts when no one sees you, whatever you want to call it, Karma or the Hand of God knows whether this act is genuine.
Ummmmm. Okay. Yah. On top of that please fire the electric co. Give pocket money lady a million & give me 70 so I can fix the lack of sincerity. DLC
oh my goodness! this is so weird! did someone put this woman up to this? between this and the "envy" comment Romney recently made, i am really scared that Romney might win. he is CRAZY!!!! Romney must be defeated. he is dangerous. if he's elected, corporations will rule the country, take all the wealth, and those of us who work for a living will be in big trouble. only Romney's kids will be able to go to college. only Romney will be able to retire. only Romney and his friends will be able to get health care. DEFEAT Romney.
Kind gesture, though I hate it when it gets published by the media.
did he buy her vote?
buying votes one hand full of cash at a time! Vote the GOP out in 2012. They caused the problems and don't deserve to be in power.
The jobless rate in South Carolina is 11%. The population of the state is ~5 million. I wonder how many struggling out of work South Carolinians will flock to Romney's rallies now that he's handing out ~$50 bucks a person?
There is a big difference between using your own money to give charity and using taxpayers' money for handouts. CNN doesn't seem to see the difference.
It is sad how he is buying his way to the nomination. I would never have taken the money.
hey romney i need some buck's too, please help
That woman was inspired. What an answer to a special prayer by a woman with faith–she followed the answer.
What a set-up. She meets with Romney's aide and than sets this up for Romney to look good. LOL.
Also, go Romney 2012!
I don't mean to be cynical, but I wonder if the press were there at this time. It is still nice that he gave her enough money to fill her gas tank with a little bit to buy some milk.
LMAO so this is the publicity stunt dreamed up by his campaign after he was attacked for being a Rich snob at Bain Capital
Nice try Romney Campaign, of course they are working HARD with the corrupt Media to make Romney look good now.
The Truth is Ron Paul is the only candidate worth voting for. But you guys base your vote on who has the best smile, not on your freedom, liberty, national debt or other important issues. So go ahead vote for Romney he does have the best smile. That's the reason this country is done for, it's because of idiots like you who vote based on the best smile rather than the issues. Look up Ron Paul. End of story.
Good. Now he has to do this for everyone on the campaign trail that relates their story of struggle.
Oh, so now Romney is getting a heart. Didn't work that way at Bain Capital, did it?
Venture capitalists are really just softies after all
This guy trys to buy everything.
The closing paragraphs of this article are bizarre and obtuse. The author cannot discern the difference between (1) private charity and (2) the government confiscating and then giving away *other* people's money. Quick quiz, which do you think Romney was talking about in the quote referencing Obama?
Horrible job, Rachel. Stuff like this gives the "liberal media" chorus a great deal of credibility.
OMG! A millionaire who is proud od firing thousnads of workers hands a needy woman 50 bucks. This woman needs to open her mind and eys to the hypocrisy the GOP has in stiore for her. They will wipe out all of her hope for a better future.
Mitt is a Lying DIRTBAG. Do Not Be folled!
Romney is going against the Republican agenda of no handouts. You know pull your self from your boots straps. Just another political stunt to make himself not look like the cretin he really is. It probably wasn't even his idea.
Choose ron paul as your running mate..... ROMNEY/PAUL 2012
That is illegal.