Romney gives cash to struggling supporter at rally
January 14th, 2012
07:36 PM ET
3 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. MacD

    Can't a guy give somebody money when they're down on their luck. Some of the comments on here make me sick.

    January 15, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  2. Keith

    50 to 60 bucks means nothing to someone demolishing a perfectly good house in La Jolla, California, to build a Bigger one.
    Romney makes me ill.

    January 15, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  3. rep

    While it might be a nice thing to do in some cases, I didn't think it was exactly legal to just give out money to supporters at campaign rally. If that were the case, candidates would be just buying votes outright all the time.

    January 15, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  4. Mirza Baig

    How is this newsworthy? So he gave charity to someone on the election trail. That does not make him a better or worser person. This election should be about contrasting the policies proposed by Obama and Romney (presuming that he wins the nomination).

    January 15, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  5. Guest

    Another nut job religious case... God led her to Romney. Maybe god should have allowed her to keep her job in the first place and keep her son from getting ill. We are in the 21st Century and still have morons iving 300 years in the past...ill bet this moron still thinks the earth is flat.

    January 15, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  6. JRock

    you people are discusting you cant even see a good deed when its in your face. $50-60 is not even close to buing votes. stop looking at everything politically and see it as an american helping an american in time of struggle. i make minimum wage and i give money to the poor on the streets so they can get a hot meal. thats what real americans do we unify and help each other out no matter your religion, race or polical views.

    January 15, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  7. Two Rivers

    Why don't give her a job, you rich SOB!

    January 15, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  8. mikle

    Why so many angry comments. He give 50 dol. So what?. Obama give 500 mil.. For nothing and nobody talk about anymore. 4 mil for his vacation. What a simple and caring president.

    January 15, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  9. Todd Morgan

    sounds like a nice guy trying to do a nice thing. She volunteered at his campaign headquarters. She got involved. Romney was a pastor (bishop) at his church for 10 years...I'm sure he knows a thing or two about helping out people in need. One of the biggest things a pastor to deal with is the financial needs of his/her congregation.

    January 15, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  10. joe

    wow so romney is literally giving handouts to the lower class. Isnt this exactly what hes been saying we shouldnt do?

    January 15, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  11. Mia

    True charity also possesses humility. Kind of casts a selfish light on the gift when your Aides leak the story to the press.

    January 15, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  12. Brian S

    He hands out cash to this woman, but he can't give a dying man with muscular dystrophy a few minutes of his time to explain his stance on medical marijuana. Instead he chooses to walk away and ignore him. Yeah he's real respectful alright.

    January 15, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  13. death2tyrany

    He gave her the money and made sure the press ran with it......It's a publicity stunt !

    January 15, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  14. Stephen

    Might I point out that it was not the campaign that leaked the story but to person who received that donation. All the campaign did was confirm it. Notice that the story comes out on Saturday but it happened on Wednesday. Pay attention to detail and realize that all that happened was a person who needed money asked another person for cash assistance and received it. I get requests in the Walmart parking lot once a month.

    January 15, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  15. jossf

    "buying a vote"??????? she's already working as a volunteer at Romney headquarters, I'm close to 100% she was going to vote for him anyway. Do any of you people read what you're commenting on? and you think you have the right to judge people??????

    January 15, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  16. DEEJ

    One word describes this: pathetiv

    January 15, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  17. CedarRapids

    "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."

    lol, really? you think god would bother telling you who to pray for huh? too funny, and people will actually buy this garbage,

    January 15, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  18. Reality1

    Obama sent her a tax bill for the "income".

    January 15, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  19. Tony

    Romney's aides must have just watched an episode of Undercover Boss and thought, "That's how we humanize him!"

    January 15, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  20. indiffrerent

    This is crazy. that show you that people will do anything to get elected now in our society. I hope people don't fall that crap. Hey Romeny or what ever your name is im a democrat ... if you dont want me to vote for Obama in November if you come to fla and give me $2000 in my pocket but i cant wait til November i need it now. hey everyone need to say this then he will lose all his campaign money. But at least you'll buy you enough votes to be President and also just like to said
    [ quote: 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.. Thank you

    January 15, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  21. the bear

    White folk always lookin for a hand out.

    January 15, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  22. enuff

    Just like taking a "kiss all the babies" photo op.

    January 15, 2012 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  23. Craig

    In about the same amount of time it took some of you to blast Romeny, he helped a lady pay the bill to keep her lights on. Regardless of what was behind his efforts (though I think it's really pretty mean to assume it was anything but generosity), you tell me who's time was better spent...

    January 15, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  24. jk

    Great. Where do I sign up for my handful of cash? I don't mind that that's socialism.

    January 15, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  25. Jesus Cristo

    60 dollars that is 1/5 of my electrical bill! 1/3 of my water bill 1/10 of my car payment 1/5 of my cell phone bill that is SCRAPS! Christian charity is a racket THEM pastors live better than you and me!

    January 15, 2012 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
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