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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. BeverlyNC

    The person was probably a former employee of a company Bain Capital destroyed and the person is still unemployed. Romney wanted to shut them up before they could call him out for being a job-killing liar. Besides he was hoping it would buy him a vote. I agree – the appearance of handing people money is unethical and was most likely a political stunt. Republicans have done nothing but demean unemployed people as lazy and have blocked all jobs bills so Romney really cares about a struggling person? Right – since when?

    January 15, 2012 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  2. Edwin

    I suspect the offer was genuine, rather than a stunt - so Romney may actually have a heart. The problem, though, is there are MILLIONS like her. Romney may actually have the money to give each one $50, but I doubt he will.

    A president needs to do more than help one person.

    January 15, 2012 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  3. Bob Moore

    Isn't that voter fraud?????????

    January 15, 2012 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  4. fedup

    This is the whole problem with conservatives-they want "Christian charity" to fix problems but in real world problems,
    we need long term viable solutions. For example this may help this woman to get her electric back on now, but it doesn't help address her real issue long term unemployment, as well as nothing set up where she can care for sick child while being able to financially survive.

    January 15, 2012 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  5. rick dick

    American Socialist...

    January 15, 2012 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  6. tom l

    That's actually the opposite of socialism.

    January 15, 2012 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  7. Hope

    We do have a society of cynics. Its unfortuante that no good deed goes without punishment. Whether it be Romney or a person on the street that's how this society should be. A willingness to help a fellow citizen now instead of waiting for the government to do the paperwork to help this person is where we need to be.

    January 15, 2012 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  8. devonshire

    For those of you who are downing Romney, he gave the woman $50 to $60 and his aide also brought her more money. I don't view this as buying a vote. I view this as helping someone out who needs help. This is what America is about, taking care of our own and those in need. Look at the billions the government spends on foreign aid overseas helping foreigners. When our own people can't afford heat and light, because there are no more good jobs. Romney does not have the resources of government nor can he control it but anything helps.

    January 15, 2012 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  9. Bes

    Hey, could I have a new wheelchair please? I have run out of duct tape and epoxy keeping it together. I could also use a new walker, but I don't want to beg. Some colostomy bags would be nice.

    January 15, 2012 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  10. Bob

    Fifty to sixty bucks out of your roughly $290 million dollar pocket. Mitt, you're far too kind.

    January 15, 2012 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  11. Emelia

    Hell, they can pay me 300 each, I'm still not voting for any of them. Nice try, but the candidates this year still suck.

    January 15, 2012 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  12. Tae Parti

    Romney is my hero. This is a classic trickle down economics. When the poor has to sell her vote to get some change for dinner tonight. Long live the Republicans. Long live the NRA. Long live the Tea PARTY. This is exactly how our fore fathers envision it. Amen.

    January 15, 2012 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  13. Mangoloit

    Was it a Mormon Gawd or a Catholic Gawd? Maybe its a Jewish Gawd?

    January 15, 2012 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  14. Jack

    Staged. He should have given her the $10,000 he was going to bet Perry with to her! He would have gotten right back after the rally anyway!

    January 15, 2012 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  15. jdoe

    Romney is a generous man. Just wait until you see the billions in tax breaks he will give to the rich, all paid for by cutting programs for the poor.

    January 15, 2012 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  16. ed bailey

    Romney. Never, not in the country's lifetime. PLEASE!!!!!

    January 15, 2012 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  17. Dan

    "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."
    Why is it notable? Romney gives way more of his OWN MONEY than this all the time. In fact, surveys and studies show conservatives give quite a bit more than liberals. It's just that it's THEIR OWN money they're giving away. They're not taking it from someone else and giving it away and touting just how caring they are, like libs do.
    Plus, "vote buying"? Really? Please.

    January 15, 2012 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  18. as1990

    I dislike Mitt Romney....... Giving 60 dollars to a needy lady??? If I was him, I would have given her a job or at least more money than just 60 measley dollars!!!

    January 15, 2012 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  19. cosmo

    I dont know how I feel about it, That he was just doing some kind of stunt or what. It seems a little strange.

    January 15, 2012 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  20. Derrick Johnson

    Hey Romney good job now pay all those people back that you fired or layed off loser!!!!

    January 15, 2012 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  21. CDaeda

    Hey; this is the best way to get votes in my opinion. Just be a money tree for everyone.

    January 15, 2012 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  22. RootieKazootie

    Ok, everyone - crouch down, open wide, close your eyes, here it comes-- trickle-down. Ummmmmm...... isn't that good. Come back tomorrow for some more!

    January 15, 2012 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  23. Habte

    Give you will be given. It is always good to help the poor. I don't how this can be connected to his campaign but it is good to give. kindness and generosity is from God. Bless.

    January 15, 2012 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  24. VelveteenLady

    His action should have been without publicity and without fanfare. He should have asked a staff member to get the woman's name and address and then sent her a check. It was a cheap shot, rather like kissing a baby: all for show and votes.

    January 15, 2012 03:14 am at 3:14 am |

    I feel sorry for you, Phil, if you really believe prayer never works! I hope somebody prays for you when you are laying on your deathbed, otherwise you are SCREWED, DUDE!!!

    January 15, 2012 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34