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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. Dane

    The author suggests that Mitt's personal act of compassionate giving cannot be reconciled with his objection over a socialist government's requirement to give. That is ridiculous! Funny how many commentors are judinge Mitt's intent - I'll leave that to a higher power.

    January 15, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  2. AMEICAN INDAN

    This is the biggest probem INDIAN DEMOCRACY is facing.It is cancer to the country.Please don't make US as ineffective system like INDIA.

    January 15, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  3. PAPilot

    What an insult. The woman wasn't there to pander for cash. She was there to let these politicians know that they need to develop real policies to deal with poverty, jobs, and the economy.

    $50 will feed her family for a couple of days. Then what? Romney just slapped her in the face with a fish so she could eat for a day, but he has done and will do nothing to make it possible for her to fish for herself. Romney and the other liberals in government don't want that. They want a class of dependent voters to guarantee their iron-fisted grip on power.

    January 15, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  4. Goodguy1

    It wasn't a photo op...come one man....snap back to reality, he is still a human being that cares. President Obama cares enough that is mandatory that you buy health insurance from one of the big companies that donates to Democrat Campaigns. I do believe however that with Pelosi, Reid and Obama we are on our way to a prosperous future.

    January 15, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  5. PAPilot

    What an insult. The woman wasn't there to pander for cash. She was there to let these people know that they need to develop real policies to deal with poverty, jobs, and the economy.

    Fifty bucks will feed her family for a couple of days. Then what? Romney just smacked her in the face with a fish so she could eat for a day, but he has done and will do nothing to make it possible for her to fish for herself. Romney and the other liberals in government don't want that. They want a class of dependent voters to guarantee their iron-fisted grip on power.

    January 15, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  6. seriously?

    Romney.......come on...... you can do better than that........

    January 15, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  7. Spencer

    It shows how caring he was

    January 15, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  8. Convoluted

    Come to the Midwest and pass out your money lots of people here can't find jobs....and I am sick of them on the dole...I have no problem helping people out...but first i want to see what they are doing to help themselves. Maybe for a tiny second he was being generous, we all have that when you see someone is down on their luck. But if this was RP or and Democrat doing this what would the (C)ommunist)(N)ews (N)etwork be saying then??

    January 15, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  9. rageahollic

    What is wrong with giving money away? $50 and it's headline news? I like how the ending calls him a hypocrite without calling him a hypocrite. CNN you are so creative. Just say what you mean for once. If this is going to turn into an all editorial website, just advertise it, and move on with it. Stop acting like you're remotely unbiased.

    January 15, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  10. Lisa

    Not vote buying it is called being kind to someone in need. Any normal adult would do this for someone who needed a little cash. Not a republican, not a democrat. I always vote for the person that displays the most character & integrity.

    January 15, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  11. vic , nashville ,tn

    Buying a vote illegal

    January 15, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  12. Cleo797

    Every good gesture counts but, why not take the woman's address and send a check to cover the mortgage or rent for six months and a voucher to buy groceries for a year. Romney, you just bought yourself a voter for a mere sixty bucks from your pocket. Clever!

    January 15, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  13. donnyp44

    simply disgusting. "here you go poor person... see, i care about you lazy freeloaders"

    January 15, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  14. 3rdworld

    This is exactly what he wants our country to become. Instead of making sure there is a safety net for people who are having hard times, he wants them to become beggars on the streets and rely on handouts to survive.

    January 15, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  15. Anonymous

    He didn't buy anyone nor give Gov't funds, he helped a woman in need as a form of charity from his own personal money.

    January 15, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  16. Beaver Cleaver

    No, the way to buy your way into the White House is to give away TAXPAYERS money.

    January 15, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  17. Rick

    no HRPuckinfutz its illegal for you to make dumb comments

    January 15, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  18. Chuck

    Coming from a candidate who said that he will cut federal spending including social programs. People like Ruth are the very citizens that he will harm. Cutting spending in the face of record low tax rates is criminal.

    I agree that companies should pay less in taxes. However, this should be allowed only in exchange for more domestic hiring. Corporations who's employs > 60% of their employees in the United States (including contractors) should be eligible for 0% tax rates. If they employ the majority of their staff overseas, then they pay the normal rate.

    January 15, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  19. dave

    I prefer the candy on a string trick myself....

    January 15, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  20. Don

    Ah, the King gives out largesse to his loyal subjects. How quaint.

    January 15, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  21. Dave

    Please... Since when has Mittens or any other Republican gave one lick about those in need. This is pandering at its most pathetic and I hope people see through this garbage. Then again, there are a lot of dumb voters out there...

    January 15, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  22. cogitosum

    Noblese oblige

    January 15, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  23. eddie

    Can runny give mesome cash too I realty needful it tx .

    January 15, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  24. Steve77

    It's not buying votes, she's a volunteer, It's common to throw volunteers some cash to pay for incidentals, meals, gifts, travel, etc.

    January 15, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  25. ironside

    In his other pocket he had 5 grand.

    January 15, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34