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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Do you suppose, just maybe, it was a simple act of kindness?
Pretty disgusting and so political A photo moment. Will this candidate ever stop being phoney.?
Probably better to buy a vote for $60 and pass that money directly to the voter instead of spending $1,000 per vote with commercials on TV and sending that money to media empires.
LOL, CNN works for Ronmey, they are his Super Pac, except they do it for free. I guess ronmey will make CNN and their 1% owners richer than they already are. They don't wnat anyone helping the midlle class, they just try to brainwash good people to elect someone who will make them rich. Don't fall for it people...
Now that's how you get a vote out the woman probably will not vote for him,but she get her need meet. Now ..
Compassion is not vote buying.
So I thought people had to work for their money and not accept hand-outs. Isn't that what Republicans always say? staged event? Tax write-off? GOD told her to vote for Romney. Like buying salvation in the middle-ages.
This is sort of devoid of hominid activity.
"pray for romney" – that'll do a lot of good...considering prayer has never worked.
@Phil . . . well, it looked like it worked this time.
Mario Balotelli does this all the time
Prayer does work. It is how we have a personal relationship with our creator. It just takes faith that he will answer the prayer. I know because he has answered my prayers. Try it.
@Ange: You really nailed it.
@Ange: You really called it.
Richie Rich connecting with the common people.
And he wants to end welfare... what a hypocrite!
I'm sure in his mind he was doing a kindness, and comment that. But this should tell America what this man's perspective and life-experience is. He just doesn't know how to relate to our reality, or what will help us.
Correction: I commend his act of kindness
Isn't that illegal in the US, buying votes at a campaign rally? Now if he gave it to her in private without cameras that's one thing but to actually give this woman money at a rally, sorry but that's illegal.
obama 2012 romney 50$ you cant buy obama four this price
what about those of us who arent christian? will he hand us money too? I want welfare.
For how long that poor woman will survive on that little money? How many times will Romney do that , as there are a lot who need to be helped that way!
Another stupid move for Romney that he will get attacked for. Charity is always best when it is anonymous. This is just another example of Romney showboating – much like the 10,000 dollar bet.
This is the Republicans choice for 2012 and the they don't like him! Ha – neither does the left. Obama all the way.
i thought only democrats gave handouts... hmmm..
And maybe making sure he doesn't slash programs like healthcare, good education, and jobs that would help those in need could do even more than $50!
Good for Mitt. Always nice to be an answer to someone's prayer.