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. warrior of light

    Seriously, if any of you think that he is trying to buy a vote......your lack of a CHRIST LIKE LIFE is very apparent! How many of you have had a freebie from the government....or your unemployment benefits extended by lack the courage to give even when you have so little! You complain you have no employment yet. you have a computer...maybe an iphone....when you truly have nothing. no home, phone, food, car, then you have a right to complain a little. Sad people cutting down a man who has more compassion than any of you will ever have! Grow up, when all you see is lack that's all YOU are going to get! Be mindful......MITT ROMNEY IS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT 2013!!!!! GOD BLESS HIM AND AMERICA!!!!

    January 14, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  2. tcaros

    The Romniminicon has a heart after all.... or maybe he's just trying a PR stunt.

    January 14, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  3. Vote Mitt 2012

    Vote Mitt 2012 for a Great America in 2013 and beyond....

    January 14, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  4. rosalyneus

    I wonder how the mdia would have post this if Obama would have something similar!

    January 14, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  5. jimatmadison

    I thought that throwing money at a problem wasn't the answer (unless you're a Red State governor or corporate welfare queen).

    Shouldn't Romney have given her a lecture about taking care of herself instead?

    January 14, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  6. Geo

    Isn't it wonderful he helps the little people. "Free stuff"? If you work and pay taxes for programs like social security and medicare, it's not free, it's an investment you made during your working years for retirement, a sort of government based insurance policy. It is the same in a way for unemployment and medicaid. Education is an investment in the future and so forth. "Free stuff" is what Wall Street bailouts are made of, since these people take from the public coffers, vote themselves bonuses, and then resent a fair share tax code.

    January 14, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  7. ddblah

    He should give her a long lecture why she should take personal responsibility. Then, she will become rich, perhaps.

    January 14, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  8. Vote Mitt 2012

    Communism sucks -– vote Mitt 2012.

    January 14, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  9. Chris from California

    Where do I begin with this... If he is a christian then he should have known to have his staff keep their mouths shut about this, you aren't supposed to show or tell your deeds. God is supposed to know, that is between Willard and him/her. On a political level it could appear on the surface that he is now buying votes which wouldn't suprise me, as these clowns have been having their supporters pay to go to a rally, and why on earth would anyone that is having financial problems support someone that has a record of destroying jobs, and has publicly stated that people like her are lazy and are looking for hand outs. I will give her this, she was smart enough to go where the money was.

    January 14, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  10. Patty Torres

    To Obama cares>

    Ye sindeed he cares about the people who contribute to his campaign. He does not care about people like the lady on this article that lost her job and can not find any and to add more she probably was denied unemployment and many of us.

    January 14, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  11. Crossword

    Wow, going back to elementary school politics. We used to give away pickles and candy canes when we ran for office back in elementary school in the late 60's.

    January 14, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  12. TownC

    A kind man! This act shows that Mitt is kind by nature. This would never have been reported if the woman had not said something. We need a man like this in the white house!

    January 14, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  13. HopefortheFuture

    How condescending... notice how he made sure the media caught onto this. Real charity isn't done for votes, Mr. Romney, it is done out of real caring. Just another instance of how much the former Governor looks down on the poor as little more than pawns for his own benefit.

    January 14, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  14. Robert

    It's truly sad when we as a society are so jaded and cynical that we cannot accept a simple act of human kindness for what it is. I don't like Obama...not one bit (and NOT because he's black for Pete's sake but because of his politics). But if he had done this for somebody I'd appreciate him for our cores we want to care for each other. I truly feel sorry for those of you who are so hardened and full of cynicism, bile and hatred that you can't–just for a single moment–consider that Romney actually felt bad for the woman and wanted to help. If you are Obama supporters and would not TRULY have been as indignant had Obama done this, shame on you.

    January 14, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  15. Steve in texas

    If you want Christian charity, ask a Mormon.

    January 14, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  16. TownC

    Lets not be cynical. It was a kind act!

    January 14, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  17. dreamer96

    Mitt Romney told her to give her address and phone number to his staff, and he would give her an offer for her house 40 cents on the dollar at todays home value...better then she would get after the bank forecloses on her....he would take the cash out of the offer as an advance payment...nice guy...

    January 14, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  18. Angie

    Really? Pretty sad...disgusting!!!

    January 14, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  19. Brian

    I gave a homeless guy 13 cents last week which is still a far greater share of my wealth than $60 is for Romney. CNN, if you'd like to interview me for your Hero of the Week segment you can reach me thru here.

    But seriously, what shameless pandering!

    January 14, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  20. Eye of Newt

    Hmmmm,...., Romney is a cheap, lying hypocrite. But I think I'll find a way to make the next rally.

    January 14, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  21. Civitas

    "I did not have Monetary Relations with That Woman."

    January 14, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  22. The Quiet Man

    First of all, it was demeaning -not generous- of him to hand the woman what amounts to LESS than a lunch tip for him.

    And, secondly... You're having trouble making ends meet? What the H3LL are you doing at TWO Romney rallies in ONE WEEK? GET.A.JOB!!!

    January 14, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  23. Josie

    He's got millions in overseas accounts in the Cayman Islands.

    January 14, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  24. Sage

    At least he didn't tell her to put her child to work to help make ends meet as Leroy Grinch would have.

    January 14, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  25. Sirned

    Romney is going against the Republican mantra of no handouts. Why didn't he tell her to pull herself up from her boot straps? This no more than a ploy to show himself in a more compassionate light for votes. 60 bucks is worth every penny for an image of decency but I don't buy it for a minute. He needs to give money and some apology's to Bains victims first....

    January 14, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
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