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. Julio

    "Here's $60 for your vote. Now go tell your friends who are having trouble to come see me and I'll help them out too!"

    January 14, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  2. lebowski1776

    If only his politics were as kind as his campaigning.

    January 14, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  3. Jamez Madness

    HA! $60 might just get her enough gas to drive back generous for a billionaire!

    January 14, 2012 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  4. rk_camb

    ... and from a guy who doesn't believe in handouts.

    January 14, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  5. SafeJourney

    Wow, just wow. Buying votes right out in the open.

    January 14, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  6. paulbrownandthekd

    Timmy can get that operation now.

    January 14, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  7. andy

    Why do the majority of you hate so much? It will eat at you like a cancer. Chill... I'm a democrat and I don't hate him. In fact I admire his work ethic. Good for him.

    January 14, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  8. colowest

    Enough to make me puke. How abt a check for few grand, you dog-torturing cheapskate? Of course you probably don't know how to write a check - you have "people" to do that for you.....

    And to think I used to be a Repuglican!

    January 14, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  9. david

    so this is what the republican wants to do, handout economy. few people participate to share the largese then share share the crumb with the hungry, battered, exploited people. good luck guys

    January 14, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  10. not a GOP

    Lol when you have to buy votes because you know,you have no way in hell winning in 2012.

    January 14, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  11. sandra

    Geez you people are all disgusting. Why does there always have to be an ulterior motive? Maybe Romney just gave the woman some money because he wanted to help her? Haven't any of you ever given money to someone in need? If not, you ought to try it.

    January 14, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  12. Charlie in Maine

    If Mitt Romney gave me $60 I would give it to the Obama/ Biden campaign. In another headlie you have Sanatorium saying "Obama would destroy Romney in the November election"

    well that is nothing compared to what any one of the clowns on the GOP side this year would do to our country if we are too lazy to vote.

    January 14, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  13. Larry L

    @Melissa Crockett

    "Christian charity seems to be so unusual in this country that the biased liberal media can't name it in a news report."
    Melissa, you might want to reword this comment. This of course isn't charity, this is pandering to the cameras for political capital. The man has about 200 million dollars and this represents the amount of money a normal person would spend on a single stick of gum. He's milking it for the people too stupid to see reality. I guess that's the Republican base...

    January 15, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  14. Vote for Mitt 2012

    Vote to save our great nation – vote for Mitt Romney 2012.

    January 15, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |

    Sounds like an orchestrated scenario to me,.. reminiscent of the stunts tele evangelists pull all the time to hoodwink the sheep in their congregations. .. Sorry Mrs. Williams,.. God does not play favorites,.. especially with politicians,.. he hates them all.

    January 15, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  16. Mark71

    and you guys honestly believe that was not staged? really? hilarious!

    January 15, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  17. Justin

    A a way. I don't care about the source, someone gets to eat. Thats all that matters. Not about him.

    January 15, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  18. Toolio

    "Hey, everyone, come have some of this cash from my pockets! Let me spread some of this wealth of mine around!"

    January 15, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  19. Thinks2010

    I find it interesting that Romney didn't help her out the first time he met her and heard her story but only did so after he put his foot in his big fat mouth a couple of times and needed to make a show of being a "compassionate conservative." This greedy self-promoting phony isn't fooling most people with this PR stunt.

    January 15, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  20. One party politics

    Cheap, cheap, cheap. Sixty dollars for a lady who is down and out is absoutely nothing when it is done for political gain. If he was truly concerned, he would have taken her in that "back room" to discuss her needs. Please turn off the cameras, these politicians are making me SICK!

    January 15, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  21. Andrew Carvin

    Vote Democrat
    The Republicans' destructive social policies ENSURE there will be UNESCESSARRY SUFFERING AND DEATH.

    The Republicans dehumanize their victims like rapists, and use evil social policy to callously murder the non-rich.

    The Republicans know this, and actively CHOOSE to cause UNESCESSARRY SUFFERING AND DEATH.

    A vote for the Republican party might as well be rape and murder by proxy.

    The Democrats on the other hand have made good on some of their promises despite Republican barriers, and continue to advocate for the middle/poor classes against the Republicans' wishes.


    January 15, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  22. IVOTE

    I think she was a set up plant by the Romney team. He could have given her a check for $10,000 the amount he was willing to bet Rick Perry.

    January 15, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  23. Andrew Carvin

    $50? Are you kidding? That woman is suffering just like so many other millions of Americans, and that's all that greedy job destroying piece of trash can give?

    Vote Democrat.

    January 15, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  24. corgilucy78

    ...and this is what is wrong with America. Just because he felt the need to help a fellow citizen in need means hes buying votes? You people are so cynical and pathetic that just becasuse you don't have a check in the mail... this man is now a criminal. Haven't you ever felt the need to help someone in need and if you had the means would do the same. Poor guy cant catch a break with so many selfish and blinded by politics people out is a thing of the past...and I wasn't even voting for him.

    January 15, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  25. j, mena

    Did he check if she was illegel ailen becouse if shes mexican he mite forget he dos not like some body that cant vote for him !

    January 15, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
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