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. Hmmmm

    For some reason, this reminds me of Gone with the Wind...."I don't know nothin 'bout birthin no babies... This article is pretty condescending. Great White man helps Poor Colored Woman. Rubbish.

    January 14, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. az

    Ron Paul is always for voluntary charity from individuals. Good for Romney. If some donates out of their "goodness" (vs. publicity) we should not challenge that. Anyone of us could have been this women struggling to pay her bills. Should not criticize people for the sake of criticism. Ron Paul 2012.

    January 14, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  3. Dixie Independent voter

    He could have at least given her his Platinum card.

    January 14, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  4. Eurpoean Socialist

    Merci camarade Romney

    January 14, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  5. TheDumbRepublican

    Romney doesn't really care about poor people.

    January 14, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. aaron

    Just like royalty handing out alms to the poor commoners. What a guy...got about $50 million in the bank, parts with $50-$60 to help out one of the peasants.

    January 14, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  7. amac

    She wasn't really a Romney supporter until he gave her cash.

    January 14, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  8. m

    How generous...$50 or $60 dollars should make a huge difference in her life.

    January 14, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  9. aaron

    does this qualify as a handout? i thought republicans were against that.

    January 14, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. Udbhav

    Guys stop being such jerks and atleast appreciate that fact that he gave the supporter HIS OWN MONEY, NOT THE GOVERNMENTS. And to all Ron Paul supporters, the reason the media is ignoring him is because you go to every single video on youtube and all news articles and preach for him!

    January 14, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  11. Jordan

    Really, wow, you guys should all be ashamed of yourselves. It wasn't a stunt. You guys act like its a stunt, they guy gives away millions of dollars in charitable aid. Every year, in addition to the forced charity the gov't makes us all pay, he pays at least 10% of his income to help the poor. My guess is it's a lot higher than that. It doesn't sound like it was intended to make the camera's eye. He's just a nice guy. Wow, you people disgust me, just a bunch of debbie downers!

    January 14, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  12. them

    awwww, the millionaire gives to the poor... how noble?

    January 14, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  13. them

    oh and lets not forget the taxpayers are providing him a hefty campaign bag full of cash...

    January 14, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  14. Erin

    Though admittedly his timing was poor, would it be too difficult to assume that "real guy" Romney, not " candidate" Romney, had a sincere desire to help someone with great need? Unfortunately, politicians live under a microscope, by choice, and their every move is dissected and analyzed to death. I'm grateful for a few good men with morals and standards who are willing to put themselves and their families under the looking glass. Cut the guy some slack!

    January 14, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  15. Hmmmm

    Well, it seems that the powers that be are moderating my last comment, so I'll word it another way.... This article is condescending. The man used this woman as a photo op, and nothing more.

    January 14, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  16. Jordan

    And seriously, why the heck is it that the mainstream media can't seem to ever depict a republican without a stupid "duh, i'm an idiot" look on their face. They always try to take good pics of dems, but always post the most unflattering pics of conservatives. CNN, how bout a little more neutrality in politics, report the new, don't try to brainwash everyone!

    January 14, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  17. Bill

    I hope anyone isn't expecting any more than that for a middle class tax break – and his distribution style is very urban,

    January 14, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  18. EdSantaFe

    Like throwing pennies at lepers

    January 14, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  19. Uziel

    It's all staged. This from a guy who killed his dog on a road trip an laugh about it in a interview with Fox. His Campaign team is trying to make him look human. Its hard to do,"remember seamus"?

    January 14, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  20. annie

    Note to liberals: Giving your own money away of your own free will is not socialism. Socialism is when the govt steals your money and gives it away

    January 14, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  21. Really people?!?

    Apparently most of those responding to this article failed to read it. The lady had been volunteering at his state headquarters PRIOR to this; it sounds to me she was already a supporter so how can you all say with a straight face he's buying her vote?!? In all honesty he didn't have to give her squat but he chose to do so anyways; why don't we just say it was a nice gesture and leave it with that......

    @ Walter – Most employees owe nothing to the owners and will leave to go somewhere else when convenient for them; THAT is NOT being a "partner" and thus that is why they are not treated as equals. Someone has to be the chief and someone has to be the indian; that is the way it works like it or not. If you don't like it you certainly have the freedom to move to Cuba or Venezuala.

    January 14, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  22. brad5013

    At least he didn't bet her $10,000 on the Super Bowl.

    January 14, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  23. leah

    Now she's volunteering for romney?!. Get a job ya freeloader but not at Bain coz she prolly had been fired with everyone one else.

    January 14, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  24. Nancy

    I've been following Romney for a long time. This is the kind of man he really is.

    January 14, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  25. leah

    Now she's volunteering for romney?!. Get a job ya freeloader but not at Bain coz she prolly had been fired with everyone else

    January 14, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
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