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

    Yup!..say anything will come back to bite you.

    January 14, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  2. stars

    Hey lady we know that you was a plant.

    January 14, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  3. Not Convinced

    I really question the ethics of someone running for POTUS doing this and also Romney's motivation for doing this. Also – isn't giving handouts going against everything taht the capitalist conservatives preach against. There are so many people in America with sad stories and bad misfortune, yet the thought is that everyone should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and not get assistance. If he is showing compassion for somebody in that situation then great, but don't criticize Obama when he tries to do the same thing for people in this country who have misfortune.

    January 14, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. mario

    no trust on this one this is an other Romney's hypocrite tactic

    January 14, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. Ivan

    Maybe he paid her to leave him alone.

    January 14, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    $60.00 a vote

    January 14, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  7. Anony119221

    God told you? There is no god 0_0

    January 14, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  8. Quirkydude

    Hate to be cynical...but I call BS.

    January 14, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  9. Double

    Lol, This is pretty transparent.

    January 14, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. Jason

    Isn't this illegal? He's basically buying votes!!!

    January 14, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. BunnyBunny

    Now he will have to give money to all of us.

    January 14, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  12. diridi

    well, he is already making this nation as Third World by giving Cash, that means, he is buying votes for "Money". Not this trick playable in America....what an idiot, is this Mormon...

    January 14, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  13. Release The Hounds

    Socialist! She should go out and earn her money! God hates welfare cases!

    Isn't that the line of rhetoric we've been hearing for years?

    January 14, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  14. thespiritguy

    $50 or $60 can sure buy a lot of positive press these days. Nonetheless, it was a nice gesture on the part of Romney and he's gone up in my estimation. Money well spent Mitt.

    January 14, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  15. newmac

    ugh! so it begins....

    January 14, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. Puna

    Lovely, his newest plan to win is to literally buy votes. :-\

    January 14, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. clay

    Awesome Romney. Giving her just enough to do nothing more than to continue her hopelessness.

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

    So she claim God told her to pray for Romney an not other candidates yea right lair. Than Romney gives her for $50 or $60 buck she also volunteering at his headquarters. All this show is he gave one of his followers a few bucks when he could afford to give her $1000,s who is he fooling. I mean when will those guys stop pulling these scams I AM THE GUY WHO CARES ABOUT YOU TYPE. Sure if we seen when he walks up to someone other than someone he ad already talk to eariler in the week and a non volunteer of his campaign an give them money I would believe it.
    While you are it Stop Using God as a scapegoat for your personal gain. All the folks in the U.S.A isn't dumb as you would suppose us to be . We know your scams.

    January 14, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  19. Former Republican, now an Independent

    That's a nice public gesture, but Romney and the other republican candidates will take it away and give it to the wealthy when he is elected.

    January 14, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  20. Jeffer65

    So is he buying votes now?

    January 14, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  21. Joe

    If he pays me he can have my vote. Any of them can have my vote if they pay me enough.

    January 14, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  22. Sam

    Big whoop. So he gave this woman some money. Shall we say PR stunt. (probably set up in advance) What about the thousands you put our of work Mitt? Where's their help?

    January 14, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. Kit Gainer

    Romney is a weasel. He will steal your retirement money.

    January 14, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  24. dreamer96

    Mitt Romney told her to give her home address to his staff...he would send someone over to look at her house and make and offer to her for her house...40 cents on the dollar...better than nothing after the bank forecloses..

    January 14, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  25. notafan

    and that's all the needy will be getting from him

    January 14, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
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