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. Robert

    Give me a Fish and I eat for a day, Teach me to fish and I would eat for a lifetime.

    January 15, 2012 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  2. kebcarerra

    Here have a job at Staples or Dominoes Pizza . He creates lots of jobs but they just don't pay , at least to the person actually doing the work. Why is that Mitt ?

    January 15, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  3. Sam

    So to Liberals, a man voluntarily giving charity = bad, but forcing people to give to charity on pain of imprisionment = good. The Liberal "mind" is a funny thing.

    January 15, 2012 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  4. JDH1228

    Can you say "PROPAGANDA PIECE"...this is stupid...I know, I know...Jump on me for bashing a "random act of kindness and generosity"...but maybe this lady would not be in the predicament she is in if our politicians and bankers hadn't sold this country down the river...the same bankers that back both Obama and Romney (and McCain in '08)...and Bush and Clinton...etc....What the hell is wrong with people not being able to see this?

    January 15, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  5. Gage

    The author of this article made a major error in understanding! You can't equate what Romney did (give his own money) to giving away government funds. What do they teach in journalism school these days?!

    January 15, 2012 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  6. Thirteen

    Yeah, Romney is just like Jesus.

    For his next trick he'll pull into a poor neighborhood and throw silver dollars at bystanders.

    January 15, 2012 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  7. Rich

    What makes this jesture really sick is not that he gave charity to a poor woman, but that he made a show of it. From the comments it was quite effective in buying some votes. Interesting tactic for a man who considers himself a Christian. I wonder what Jesus would post?

    January 15, 2012 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  8. bozman

    Would not be surprised if it was a setup by Romney just to gain publicity. I like the guy but just sayin...

    January 15, 2012 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  9. SMH

    He is so desperate! This is just crazy! How about making it 100,001 jobs that you big job creator. He is still getting paid from Bain, he can't make a call and get her a job? I hope this blows up in his face, for the bogus attempt that it was!

    January 15, 2012 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  10. Anna

    If Romney suprised a supporter of he's cash, than you' HAVEN'T ' see just all yet..more autographs IN will follow soon.

    January 15, 2012 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  11. spazzo

    did it for a public show nothing else

    January 15, 2012 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  12. ohsnap

    God told you to pray for Romney? I think he would have told him to give you more than 60 bucks.

    January 15, 2012 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  13. kastnmagic

    What an idiot... He made this move for all the wrong reasons... I can tell you this – If I were genuinely concerned for this woman and was worth what Romney is worth, I'd have offered her much more than $50 and I would have ensured that it arrived in her mailbox ANONYMOUSLY .... This is nothing more than another "showboat" move...

    January 15, 2012 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  14. kastnmagic

    Folks... If the GOP nominates Romney, I do hope that if you're a Republican you'll consider leaving your party affiliation. I think it's well past time that the party was dropped on their rear end... Out with the old and in with the new!

    January 15, 2012 02:19 am at 2:19 am |

    Proof that Romney really is a job creator. He found the woman a job.

    Yes, it is a volunteer position that doesn't pay but it's still a job. Why quibble about minor details like who got paid and who got fired?

    January 15, 2012 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  16. Bob

    Regardless of why he did it, can't we admire the act in-and-of itself? I'm not voting for him but it was a nice thing to do.

    January 15, 2012 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  17. Marc

    Vote buying. Not impressed.

    January 15, 2012 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  18. Dustin

    Not really socialism, the whole point conservatives make and that I'm sure Romney also believes in is that WE can spend our money better than the Government. Romney has given tons of money to private charities. These charities are selected by each person so you can donate to the one that strikes the best chord, vs the government that takes what it wants, then chooses for you where your money will go even if you don't agree with that cause or even if it is spent inefficiently.

    The government should not force people to donate to welfare causes, that's an individual choice. but most wealthy people do donate, contrary to popular belief, and they donate to charities that are much more efficient and useful in getting results than bulky unaccountable government welfare systems.

    Romney, I'm sure has done this more than once in his life, and my guess is he does not do it because he wants press, he does it because he follows his heart.

    January 15, 2012 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  19. debra

    Given her situation, perhaps, a job would have been more appropiate. Of course, digging in your pocket for spare change is a lot easier. And let's not forget that "feel good" feeling I'm sure he's still feeling.

    January 15, 2012 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  20. Mark

    Wouldn't it have ironic if God had pointed her to Romney's bus, and all he had was $2.00 in his wallet?

    January 15, 2012 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  21. Mark

    Looks like a new tactic for the Occupy movement could be to follow the campaign trail and wait for handouts.

    January 15, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  22. puresmokey

    "Romney just earned my respect."
    Really, Randy? Doesn't take much, does it?

    January 15, 2012 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  23. YourMom

    Obviously she's was planted by the campaign...

    January 15, 2012 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  24. Jack Be Humble

    Christian charity and prayer are best done where and when none but God can see it.

    January 15, 2012 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  25. Shane Ownbey

    I give money to homeless people all the time. I guess it only counts when you do it when nobody is watching. People will always criticize you no matter what you do.

    January 15, 2012 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
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