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. Brad

    Isn't vote buying illegal?

    January 14, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. Corey

    Here's some dough,..but about that sick child? HA! get lost!

    January 14, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. Nate

    "God didn't tell me to go to nobody else. He told me to pray for Romney."

    Well that settles it. God wants Romney in.

    January 14, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. Charity Works

    THough charity is nocice for some reason this is just unsettling – my first impression was "e is SO out of touch". I contemplated my navel a bit more and siad to myself "He is so out of touch".

    Is it me?

    Or is he so out of touch?

    January 14, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. Saoirse

    This is another example of a CNN reporter taking words out of context and twisting then in a way that makes someone look bad. What he is talking about is GOVERNMENT handouts from taxes taken from hard working people. That does not mean he cannot give out of his own pocket (money made from his own hard work) to poor people and charities. Seriously CNN please work on your reporting.

    January 14, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  6. Nate (Seattle, WA)

    That's actually a pretty good $60 investment in PR for Romney. That's couch change for him, and it's a small price to pay for making him seem remotely human.

    January 14, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  7. The King

    I'll require $100K to vote for you mittens...Cash only

    January 14, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  8. WatchDawg

    Mitt's out buying votes now...lol

    January 14, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  9. robert boose

    mitt romneys heart is in the right place to help that woman it showes he is a good man i will have to reconsider voting for him that showes that he cares

    January 14, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. mnguest

    low, buying votes,he should have had a staff member give her the money

    January 14, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. CaptainMike

    Aww, that's how you buy votes!

    January 14, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  12. Randy

    Romney just earned my respect.

    January 14, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  13. HRPuckinfutz

    Isn't it illegal for candidates for public office to hand out cash to voters?

    January 14, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  14. Ange

    Lol...outright "vote buying" no two ways about it! $50-60 bucks? ... Sad.. Though a hell of a lot less than what Mittens, and his PACs,spent/paid per vote in Iowa! What's next? Toasters? ..anyone??

    January 14, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  15. Brian

    Romnoid has become the most hypocritical, loathesome panderer of them all. As one woman said of him, "I used to envy him, now I just hate him." He is disgusting.

    January 14, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  16. Melissa Crockett

    Christian charity seems to be so unusual in this country that the biased liberal media can't name it in a news report.

    January 14, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  17. Marjee123

    That's one way to get votes, buy em. He ought to have been doing what Michele Obama has been doing looking in to organizations that help needy children and the military familes. But then she doesn't get credit that piece of flotsome call Limbaugh calls her an angry black woman. Shame he isn't homeless and hungry.

    January 14, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  18. glorydays

    Ya, every once in a while I give my loose change to the homeless, too.

    January 14, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  19. walter

    We don't want handouts...we want a just and fair free enterprise system that treats workers not as serfs or commodities but as partners.

    January 14, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. Ydnar

    Hey Mitt where's my money? I been unemployed and struggling since 2010....sounds like a great way to put the economy on track...hand out money, heck I am even in New England for crying out loud, a New Englander doesn't get the cash you have?

    January 14, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  21. rufus

    Personal giving is always superior to an act of government. Too bad this had to make the news.

    January 14, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  22. arggggggghhhhhhh

    Trying to buy his way to the White House

    January 14, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  23. Artur

    I Don't have much to give at times I feel that I have given more than I should have. It is the Christian way sacrifice in his name may God help me when I am homeless I hope I am not on the streets amonge them

    January 14, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  24. Derek

    That's Socialism!!! That is "spreading the wealth around". I want to see the GOP attack Romney for this.

    January 14, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  25. Dale Wetterstrom

    Really? Is that suppose to make him Mr. Passionate?? Please Rom, to have to pay for your vote.. You are is sad shape Mister!

    January 14, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
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