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. ma & pa

    Do you suppose, just maybe, it was a simple act of kindness?

    January 15, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  2. dina

    Pretty disgusting and so political A photo moment. Will this candidate ever stop being phoney.?

    January 15, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  3. Mr Taxed

    Probably better to buy a vote for $60 and pass that money directly to the voter instead of spending $1,000 per vote with commercials on TV and sending that money to media empires.

    January 15, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  4. Ozzie

    LOL, CNN works for Ronmey, they are his Super Pac, except they do it for free. I guess ronmey will make CNN and their 1% owners richer than they already are. They don't wnat anyone helping the midlle class, they just try to brainwash good people to elect someone who will make them rich. Don't fall for it people...

    January 15, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  5. tamara reina

    Now that's how you get a vote out the woman probably will not vote for him,but she get her need meet. Now ..

    January 15, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  6. Colt Ables

    Compassion is not vote buying.

    January 15, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  7. John

    So I thought people had to work for their money and not accept hand-outs. Isn't that what Republicans always say? staged event? Tax write-off? GOD told her to vote for Romney. Like buying salvation in the middle-ages.

    January 15, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  8. SCOTT

    This is sort of devoid of hominid activity.

    January 15, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  9. U.S. Common Sense


    "pray for romney" – that'll do a lot of good...considering prayer has never worked.


    @Phil . . . well, it looked like it worked this time.

    January 15, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  10. Patrick Starr

    Mario Balotelli does this all the time

    January 15, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  11. Dan


    "pray for romney" – that'll do a lot of good...considering prayer has never worked.

    Prayer does work. It is how we have a personal relationship with our creator. It just takes faith that he will answer the prayer. I know because he has answered my prayers. Try it.

    January 15, 2012 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  12. Larry

    @Ange: You really nailed it.

    January 15, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  13. Larry

    @Ange: You really called it.

    January 15, 2012 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  14. Ralph

    Richie Rich connecting with the common people.

    January 15, 2012 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  15. Starstuff

    And he wants to end welfare... what a hypocrite!

    January 15, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  16. Scott

    I'm sure in his mind he was doing a kindness, and comment that. But this should tell America what this man's perspective and life-experience is. He just doesn't know how to relate to our reality, or what will help us.

    January 15, 2012 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  17. Scott

    Correction: I commend his act of kindness

    January 15, 2012 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  18. SNAPPA

    Isn't that illegal in the US, buying votes at a campaign rally? Now if he gave it to her in private without cameras that's one thing but to actually give this woman money at a rally, sorry but that's illegal.

    January 15, 2012 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  19. andral lorencyl

    obama 2012 romney 50$ you cant buy obama four this price

    January 15, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  20. AJ

    what about those of us who arent christian? will he hand us money too? I want welfare.

    January 15, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  21. ST

    For how long that poor woman will survive on that little money? How many times will Romney do that , as there are a lot who need to be helped that way!

    January 15, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  22. Ghetto Bro

    Another stupid move for Romney that he will get attacked for. Charity is always best when it is anonymous. This is just another example of Romney showboating – much like the 10,000 dollar bet.
    This is the Republicans choice for 2012 and the they don't like him! Ha – neither does the left. Obama all the way.

    January 15, 2012 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  23. larrygarden

    i thought only democrats gave handouts... hmmm..

    January 15, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  24. Matt Sky

    And maybe making sure he doesn't slash programs like healthcare, good education, and jobs that would help those in need could do even more than $50!

    January 15, 2012 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  25. Jed Merrill

    Good for Mitt. Always nice to be an answer to someone's prayer.

    January 15, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
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