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. jeff

    As if he has a heart...

    January 15, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  2. William Smith

    Hey, isn't that socialism!!

    January 15, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  3. Dizzyd

    I agree with walter – but I add that workers aren't trash to be tossed once they no longer prove useful. I think that for what it's worth, what Mitt did was nice, but too bad he can't let this change the way he thinks about the poor. Until all the Republicans do, I don't want ANY of them running the country.

    January 15, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  4. John

    Yeah, right after he comes under attack for talking about how happy he is about firing people who just aren't delivering services fast enough-he comes up with this transparent bit of Spin Control. Handing out money to a woman. What's next-anyone who's broke and homeless can have their pets move in with the Romneys?

    January 15, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  5. Janet Jensen

    If you're wondering Romney's sincerity–look into his personal background; his service to his church and his community; literally hundreds and hundreds of hours of quiet discreet giving and caring.

    January 15, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  6. RawHoney

    Only small minds take big pleasure by attempting to belittle minor items in order make their own lives bigger. These small minds find minor items in the "news" (or what seems to pass for it in the minds of some). Go back to the TV and goon out on sports until you can find something worth a comment.

    January 15, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  7. Greg

    Walter- in free enterprise, employees are NOT partners. To everyone else: Romney's trivial act of charity was nothing more than that, an act of private charity. It doesn't change my opinion of him in the least. He's still only slightly preferable to Obama who probably would have offered her someone else's $50 or $60.

    January 15, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  8. David

    Romneys church-my church teaches us to be charitable and we receive blessings in return

    January 15, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  9. Linda

    Now Romney will be inundated with people wanting money. Maybe he woud've been better off if he'd asked around to connect her with resources although I lived in South Carolina for five years and there aren't that many resources or good paying jobs available. I wish the woman well. I hope her situation will improve due to her own initiative.

    January 15, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  10. Hal

    How about giving the woman a job instead of a handout??!! Oh wait, she probably wasn't black!

    January 15, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  11. wjeri

    Those Mormons just eat jello and drink hot chocolate. Romney has money!

    January 15, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  12. raj

    Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day...

    January 15, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  13. Anonymous

    i don't think it was a stunt but that lady sure sounds like a kook....I think he was probably just paying her to stop following his bus around!! Everyone knows Ron Paul is the only one of the GOP candidates who cares about people. It is kind of fun watching the others spend all the PAC cash on criticizing each other for being rich and beholden to special corporate interests (especially when they all are)... All the attacks are accomplishing is laying the groundwork for Obama.

    January 15, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  14. Greg

    I am not a Romney supporter, but it was an act of charity from the guy who did not take a salary as Governor, as head of the Olympics and has pledged to take no salary as president. No reason to denigrate this type of behavior

    January 15, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  15. steve

    I invy her and all his millions that he can't prove he paid any taxes on and the people that are unemployed because of his personal actions. He's a PEACH.

    January 15, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  16. Mike Hill

    Buying votes is against the law. Romney should be forced to drop his bid and be prosecuted.

    January 15, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  17. exDemocrat

    Wow, what a cynical bunch! Maybe he just wanted to help her. Good grief.

    January 15, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  18. Tyler Durden

    President Romney: solving AMerica's problems by throwing money at them.

    January 15, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  19. Chris

    What a Liberal!

    January 15, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  20. Interesting

    He gave it in private. It wasn't meant to be a public offering. Everyone helps people out like this, its not that big of deal.

    January 15, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  21. frankenstein

    I bet he claims it on his taxes as a charitable contribution

    January 15, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  22. jon

    This is just a set up to make himself look like he cares to voters when he really doesn't. Anyone who is buying this actually just got bought by Romney.

    January 15, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  23. Phillco

    Too bad Romney stole the money from someone he fired.

    January 15, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  24. harry

    Did you say hand full of cash? And it was only 50-60 dollars? You call that hand full of cash? That is all he had on him? WOW, what a story?

    January 15, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  25. Retired Army in San Antonio


    Isn't that SPECIAL???

    January 15, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
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