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. korkea aika

    This is the cheapest of low down stunts I have ever seen in American politics. He gave the lady $60 bucks. What is that about? Compassion is a life-time preoccupation, and not a PR stunt!

    January 14, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  2. Chuk

    Good job, Romney, keep buying those votes. Even with your millions, I bet you can't buy enough to get elected in November. By the way, where's your next campaign stop so I can come get my share? Just won't buy you my vote.

    January 14, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  3. lps

    At least he gave her his own money and not the taxpayers.

    January 14, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  4. Phil

    "pray for romney" - that'll do a lot of good...considering prayer has never worked.

    January 14, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. peter

    Buying votes worked for Kennedy. I guess he just wants to be more like a Democrat.

    January 14, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. cigarman

    Romney should be disqualified, due to buying votes. Last time I heard, that is illegal.

    January 14, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. Herman

    looks like he is buying votes in public... if he want to be could have done it privatley and hot leaked to the press...john edwards gave money too what is romney looking to down the line lt is lonley on the trail

    January 14, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  8. do I detect a bias here ?

    Why did the author of the article say "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" ? He was talking about giving away other people's money. The small amount of money that Romney gave this lady (not a "handful of cash") was from his own personal money. Thank God we still do have a right to do what we want with our own money !

    January 14, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. Herman

    he buying votes

    January 14, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  10. 3rd party

    Good, it shows his softer side.

    January 14, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  11. Vic

    Awe... OK, done. Voting for Ron Paul.

    January 14, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  12. Hmmm

    So God told her to go bum some cash off of a bum. Interesting.

    January 14, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  13. mittromneyradio

    Even a CNN political commentator ought to know the difference between giving away TAXPAYER money and giving away your OWN money. Shame on you.

    January 14, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  14. UtahProf

    A cheap political ploy like this is disgusting .... what we have become is DISGUSTING! Ron Paul 2012!!!!!

    January 14, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  15. Obama Cares

    WOW, THAT AMOUNTS TO PENNIES FOR THAT SHOW-BOATER. I'm sure it was a photo-op.

    January 14, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  16. No

    Sigh...

    January 14, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  17. lewie lewis

    6ood for Mitt. Maybe this will be a start.

    January 14, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  18. francis

    There is a difference when people give of themselves or give someone elses money. Obama just wants to give away tax dollars , anyone can do that. Thats like asking someone for money and then taking that money and handing it to the next to you. then taking credit for it. Does not matter how much Romney gave , He gave of himself. Thats the point....And when romney makes the comment about not giving things away for free , he is right , Because it is not free and the Obama lovers think it is either grown on a tree or coming from the rich. And the rich donate plenty of money to this ecomony and donate plenty to the poor or sick...

    January 14, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  19. Just a guy

    Thats one way to buy votes.

    Ron Paul 2012

    January 14, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  20. Richard Holzapfel

    Romney believes it is wrong for the government to take money from one person and give it to another person as "free stuff." However, he believes individuals should be compassionate and altruistic as their situation allows them. Romney helps people regularly with his own money and most likely have given away more money by percentage of income than the author of this article. Bill and Melinda Gates are in a better position to decide how and where to donate their money to help people instead of some government employee. Romney believes we should help each other, but we should decide who to help.

    January 14, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  21. Matt

    So nice to the 'little people' when it's campaign time eh, Mitt?

    January 14, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  22. Mr. Wonderful

    First instance of voter fraud for the 2012 Presidential Election.

    Way to go Mitt, you'll need all the bought votes you can get!

    January 14, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  23. Biff Omney

    This is actually pretty funny. Gee, how do I change my image as a corporate fat cat who can't relate to everyday people? I know, I'll hand out a wad of cash to an Everyman at a campaign event! I'm sure the fact that he had met this woman before was pure coincidence.

    January 14, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  24. Fernando Miranda

    Hey here take my chump change! I am a multimillionaire and $50 or $60 bucks is like dog poo off the bottom of my shoe. NO BIG DEAL,JUST SOMETHING TO MAKE ME LOOK LIKE I CARE.

    January 14, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  25. Capt. Obvious

    Wow, talk about buying votes! She had to have been Mormon, as it is against Romney's religion to give aid to non-Mormons. In the sixties my family travelled through Utah and couldn't get gas from Mormon-owned stations. Seeing out-of-state plates, the attendants all asked if we were Mormon. Mormonism is evil.

    January 14, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
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