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

    Huh, I wonder if this will become a more frequent event at Romney events. Wouldn't that be interesting.

    January 14, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  2. Buying Votes

    Here is Mitt Romney literally buying votes. The man nonchalantly gives away a day's pay for a low paying job because he's a mega-millionaire. And don't give me any of that crap about him working hard and succeeding, he inherited a massive fortune from his Mexican father.

    January 14, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  3. VOTE BUYER

    Obomney is a big government fool who robs Peter to pay Paul.

    January 14, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Rodger Lodger

    Well, until I read this I thought the country's intelligence was at 8th grade level. I've just demoted it to 3rd grade.

    January 14, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  5. garbage.pail.kid

    God told her to go see him?! This woman needs more help than $60 will buy.

    January 14, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  6. Philojazz

    Goodness gracious, I had almost forgotten how incredibly inane American presidential campaigns had become, I'm really enjoying my stay here. It's kind of like an anthropology field trip, actually. But more humorous. And pathetic.

    January 14, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  7. Thomas

    What a great story and at such a convenient time too. This could not have worked out better for Romney if he planned it.........

    January 14, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  8. Joe

    That dude is super rich... and he gives her 60 bucks? The whole thing seems sleazy to me.

    January 14, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  9. James Ruston

    It's nice that Romney exhibited this charity, and i would hope more would do it. However, the real issue is whether or not the larger society will also help, in case such charity is not forthcoming, or will the tea party/conservatives make that impossible.

    January 14, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  10. Johnny

    50 bucks? From Mitt Romney? 50 bucks?

    Wow so generous.

    I'd wipe my a $ $ with his 50 bucks.

    January 14, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. Nik

    Entire story is made up. Why would she follow romney to an airport? She had money to pay for Gas and any toll? hmm..
    And then she was INVITED by romney staff to ANOTHER CITY. really? had some money for gas as well?? And then get about $60 in return for all those "invited" efforts. Then invoke GOD in each sentence. We are NOT fool Romney

    January 14, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  12. Vence

    He should have offered a job of the many thousands he has created instead!

    January 14, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  13. Al

    While I congratulate the lady on her windfall, this is just another example of this Republican field's hypocrisy in general . . and I hope Romney has to disclose this in his filings and she declares it on her taxes.

    January 14, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  14. james

    This guy is such a mistake.

    January 14, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  15. Cody

    Talk about paying for votes.

    January 14, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  16. qbananita

    Actually, it's in keeping with his statements regarding the government not giving away free stuff... Charity is the responsibility of all of us... not of the government.

    January 14, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  17. boston

    wow.. 60 bucks – the current price of a vote!

    January 14, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  18. hahalou

    Ihave some financial difficulty too.

    January 14, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  19. T in Dallas

    new campaign tactic...pandering to poor folks..how sad.

    January 14, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  20. azdevil

    Shouldn't he have given her a tax break and told her to pull herself up by her bootstraps?

    January 14, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  21. peleka

    Sounds like a setup.

    January 14, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  22. holrosa

    Even though it may look to be a kind gesture, to a lot of others and in some States regarding voting laws, it would be looked at 'buying the womans vote'.

    January 14, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  23. ralphie

    Yeah Mitt, I need about 3k for dental work. Can you help me plz?

    January 14, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  24. Lincoln

    Socialism! What did she do to earn that money! She could've paid the bill if she just would've pulled herself up by her bootstraps and not waited for a government hand out! Socialism! Oh.... irony.

    January 14, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  25. Thedreamer

    POLITICAL STUNT. geez can this guy get anymore fake. He miraculously reaches in his pocket, pulls out his wallet and giver her cash. lmao cnn plz do some research into so called struggling supporter. Shoot why not just give all of us money.
    ,

    January 14, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
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