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. lsm

    It's symbolic: we should help who we can when the moment arises, and Romney did. He did it privately and deserves kudos instead of hatred and cynicism. There are lots of stories about his generosity, they just aren't getting any press and he's not pushing it.

    January 14, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    One evening at 6pm over their regular post-workday golf game,President Reagan and Tip O'Neill had a very revealing conversation. Tip told Reagan about a woman in an inner city ghetto that needed their help. Reagan was moved to tears and reached for his wallet. Tip stopped him and said, "No Mr. President, the point wasn't that you alone needed to do something but rather we collectively need to do something." Are we as a society responsible or just as individuals, and only when "the spirit moves us?"

    January 14, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  3. What?

    Isn't this big bad SOCIALISM???

    January 14, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  4. Sam M

    Romney buys votes, he runs on "no handouts", he plays the rightwingdings like a dumb fiddle. Boooooo on Romney....

    January 14, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  5. paul

    can't some of you morons back off??? he gave someone who was down on their luck some help! how many of some of you clowns ever done something like this?????

    January 14, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  6. pattysboi

    If I have food on me, then I give that to them. However, I NEVER give $ to them. Better to give to a group who works with the homeless.

    January 14, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. noname

    isnt handing out cash the anti-republican thing to do? he should have told her to pull herself up by her own bootstraps instead of getting a handout from someone else. no assistance from anyone do everything by yourself!

    January 14, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  8. Drew

    Isn't that the kind of free handouts (welfare, socialism) that conservatives hate so much?? Must be nice to just have pockets full of cash to just hand out to anyone....(sigh). The sad thing is this woman who seems to be in need will actually believe the hype and vote against her own interests and then watch while those like Romney laugh their way to the bank.

    January 14, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  9. Durham

    He is good person overall.

    January 14, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  10. Mike from Philly - all my life

    Boy now there is an old political tactic. Giving out money. Brings back the old Taminy Hall days. Heck, he has lots to give away. I want to know what he will not do to win.

    January 14, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  11. Area 51 Visitor

    Romney shares several traits with another personality. One who "changes his mind" when necessary to reach his goal... shifts side, plays both sides. One who is great at convincing people he can restructure a business better then people can do themselves... and will axe whoever he needs to in order to do it. Yes people, if you haven't quite figured it out yet... A con man. Romney is a con man, and all you tards are bending over and taking it like the useless rejects you are. ROMNEY's a con man!!!!

    January 14, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  12. scott

    just spent 5 million on attack ads and gives a woman 50.00 to uy a vote, sounds like the used car salesman that romney is

    January 14, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  13. Clinton

    I hope he wins the nomination. He seems to have the boldness and the guts to take our country in a new direction and boy do we need it.

    January 14, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  14. Mitt will win Presidential election 2012

    Mitt Romney will win the presidential in 2012 and save America from the corrupt administration currently in power... God bless America.

    January 14, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. carly

    I guess Mitt has sunk to a new low. He is now literally buying votes.

    January 14, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  16. Rom

    Nice. Now her financial troubles are solved. Way to go Hero.

    January 14, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  17. Robert

    Wish he had done this discreetly-out of sight of the media.

    January 14, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  18. Joe

    how nice from the man who caused thousands to be unemployed and homeless... where's their money?

    January 14, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  19. TBaggersSuk

    Totally planned by the Romney campaign as a photo op to try and change public opinion in light of the attacks being made against him. Looks like Romney is once again serving up some of that pious bologna...

    January 14, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  20. mike

    A lot better than Obama would have done he would have given you 10$ then asked for your Dignety.

    January 14, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  21. Mitt will win Presidential election 2012

    Mitt is the only way to save America from financial ruin...

    January 14, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  22. John

    It was a setup but sure ..... you guys can buy this propaganda ,

    January 14, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  23. Santana

    Lady, you are supporting the WRONG candidate. You have a sick son... the affordable care act ensures he won't be dropped and will allow him access to life-saving treatment. Romney said his first act will be to APPEAL it. The lazy media runs stories about him handing out 50 bucks but won't ask what he will do for the millions who have no medical insurance once the affordable care act is taken away by the GOP....

    January 14, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  24. Reasonable1

    And the Republicans are against hand outs... well, if handouts can buy votes, they are for it.

    January 14, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  25. tcaros

    Wow, he makes 180 million with some scam at Bain and then he coughs up $60 bucks to a woman.

    I guess this is how he is going to combat the image of being a priviledged Mormon and corporate vulture.

    January 14, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
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