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. yep

    Sounds like government handouts ;)

    January 14, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Personally, I really like free stuff. Who's running that will give me all this free stuff, he's my guy!

    January 14, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  3. tingle

    I still prefer the guy with the boot on his head

    January 14, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  4. Ja-Coffalotte

    That's the GOP way, give ya $60 and rape the country to the tune of BILLIONS

    January 14, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  5. Michael

    Good one out of of a movie from Hollywood shes going to Mitts Joe the plumper. Trying to put a human face on this man is what his staff is doing.

    January 14, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  6. John Brown

    Just $60???? Whatttt.. And Mitt is going to claim that as donation right? lol

    January 14, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. tes

    I don't think he understand what he is talking and doing ?.

    January 14, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  8. the_truth

    Is anyone going to bring up the fact that this is outright buying/bribing someone to support you?

    Just another of Romney's flip-flops...

    January 14, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. bradlarochelle

    there is difference, Romney gave away his "stuff" and not mine or yours. the federal government gives away other peoples "stuff". the point of being fiscally conservative is that you can make a decision who gets your "stuff" rather than a government bureaucracy.
    just to be clear...

    January 14, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  10. Oldie in TampaBay

    God Bless him for 'listening' tot he 'inner voice' !

    January 14, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. JaCrid2010

    And on the sixth day he created Romney, and he was good.

    January 14, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  12. Brainer12

    We called that manipulation. He gives you $50 or $60 thanks to him if he did from his heart but he should offer you a job since he is a job creator. Or he did that as a show off to pretend he cares so he can get news coverage for helping you pay your light bill.Why does he care what other candidates will give you. Maybe he will bet you for$10000 if Newt or Paul offer you some $$$ D0N'T BE ANOTHER JOHN THE PLUMBER 08

    January 14, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  13. gabriela garcia

    That was very kind of him.

    January 14, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  14. Reddog9500

    Isn't it wonderful that Mitt has such a heart of gold? Never mind that his net worth is over 202 MILLION DOLLARS, it just made my heart sing to see him give $50 to this poor woman to help her pay for her light bill. He's just such a kind and wonderful human being. I'll bet you that he took care of all the people he laid off when he took over their failing companies. Yup, he's just a caring human being underneath his lust for money. Just remember Mitt: You can't serve God and mammon too.

    January 14, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  15. Jilli

    Wow, the unexpected – Mitt Romney acting like a human being. I honestly didn't think I'd ever see it, but I really don't buy it either – his sincerity is doubtful. It was a nice gesture – but he's campaigning, that's his motive, not his overwhelming compassion for her situation.

    January 14, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  16. truther

    That's the difference between a liberal who is free with other people's money...and a conservative who is free with his own.

    January 14, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  17. Phil

    Reeks of B.S

    January 14, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  18. mojomarry

    I'm not a Romney fan, but there's a big difference between him giving someone his money out of his own pocket and what the Democrats do – reach in to MY purse and take MY money without MY consent to give to someone THEY feel deserves it. So your "notable" line is "notable" in that you don't understand the difference between a person choosing to do what they want with their money and the government choosing what to do with everyone else's money.

    January 14, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  19. Mr. Kenneth

    You gave money one white women's sound staged,were the other 40 million person that are still hurting because of you stands or the middle class.not wanting people who make more to pay less. Love to see your bank records see if you could have given more so he could have realy help the women.why did it have to put in the news. If he give it from his heart,they all the new papers ect was not needed.Read what the bible say about people like you.

    January 14, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  20. db

    Is there something wrong with this? I hardly think so. It was a good thing to do for a person that is hurting. It does not matter who gave the the money or who got it, it was the effort put into it for a good cause. Enough said.

    January 14, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  21. Fred Bridges

    "The cash gift is notable from a candidate who has said he would not give away 'free stuff' as president"

    Romney is personally the most charitable candidate we've had in a long time. He donates 12-15% of his income (and probably more) to both religious and secular causes. Anyone who thinks Romney did this to get media coverage doesn't know Mitt Romney. He's very private about his giving; this was just a time when it was difficult to be private.

    January 14, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  22. LMS405

    Thank God for Romney, a man who follows his heart and leads with his head. May the American people recognize his talent and elect him as the next President of the United States of America.

    January 14, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  23. AJ

    "The cash gift is notable from a candidate who has said he would not give away "free stuff" as president but rather would focus oThe media is constantly portraying conservatives as insensitive and lacking generosity. What Romney did is exactly what conservatives believe in. Giving to people comes from our own pockets. Not the government. It's called charity. To say Romney's gift is "notable" because he's pledged to cut federal spending is absolutely insane.

    January 14, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  24. Joe the Plumber

    He should have given it to her privately. Otherwise it looks like a silly ploy – which it is. The man is worth $200M+? and he givers her $50 bucks? And if that is not a hand-out I don't know what is. I'm not saying its wrong to be charitable, but handing out cash as a campaign rally is disgusting. And I think it may even be illegal?

    I'm struggling too, Mitt – where's my $50?

    January 14, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    He gave his personal money. Not tax money. there is a difference.

    January 14, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
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