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

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Tim Scott, the ultimate undecided voter

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • South Carolina
soundoff (830 Responses)
  1. Steven Brooks


    A Band-Aid for a deep and bleeding wound, caused by the 'candidate's' own shortsighted, narrowminded, and increasingly bigoted own party.

    January 15, 2012 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  2. OhioConservative

    It's not buying votes if the person is already a supporter, which she was. In this case, I'd have to call it simply one-on-one giving, which is the most efficient method of charity.

    Of course, liberals don't believe in that, they think all charity has to come from the government. Easier to control the recipient that way.

    January 15, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  3. Dennis B.

    This reminds me of the stories of John D. Rockefeller giving out dimes to people.

    January 15, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  4. Ralph Petrillo

    $ 50 dollars , are you kidding me.

    January 15, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  5. Terrible

    The guy can't do anything right.... He gets ripped by everyone for being to rigid and cold. Then he gets ripped for being kind and charitable.

    January 15, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  6. Gail

    This is the best the GOP has to tricks??? Sad...........

    January 15, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  7. employment coordinator

    "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life."

    She gets $60 and has joined the campaign as a volunteer. What happens when next months light bill arrives?

    Any paying job would be better than volunteering (and there are entry level jobs available- I help disabled individuals find employment- managers indicate that peoples do not stick with their jobs- quitting if they have something more enjoyable they want to do (beach, party, concert)

    January 15, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  8. clarke

    If she has an ill son and no elctric why is she following him around. What do I know, Maybe it true and maybe its not.

    January 15, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  9. Ken

    This guy is handing out cash to the needy? He's more of a socialist than Obama!

    January 15, 2012 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  10. GI Joe

    I'd be impressed if he offered to support her family until they get on their feet. $50? Food for one week. Next week they will starve - before time to vote. Takes a lot more than that to keep them alive until November.

    January 15, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  11. rs1201

    Romney is obviously a decent man who cares about people. However, this woman should not be volunteering in Romney's campaign office...she should be looking for a job and getting paid. People who volunteer have a solid source of income that gives them the time to "volunteer"...this woman obviously is in dire straits...and volunteering should not be on her agenda.

    January 15, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  12. bellestarrr

    I dont think mitt and ann romney are heartless cold people...unfortunately because of the structure of the republican party(current) being compassionate or moderate in any way can sink your boat...he has to appeal to the most rabid right wing part of the party right now..when he becomes president his views may change....thats Mitt Romney..its hard to be compassionate and human when your a strict religious conservative....really pathetic isnt it??

    January 15, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  13. Anonymous

    Look at these comments! Wow! I am from Massachusetts, have never liked Romney and would certainly never vote for him. I do feel that these are a little harsh....But that was just STUPID for him to do it because the first thing I thought was this would come back to bight him in the A–.And it has. A rich man does NOT just hand out money. He puts a person to work or shows them the options they have. I'll be interested to see how this goes as the day goes by

    January 15, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  14. DJ

    Wow Romney will do anything to get votes! Why doesn't he give some money to all that are struggling!

    January 15, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  15. jolooo

    hey merican keep arguing next time u going to china for burger king job

    January 15, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  16. Monique Manna

    Some people are forgetting that she used this to pay her light bill...and it was a genreous act no matter what, that also seemed sincere...

    January 15, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  17. steven

    if he really cared about that woman he would have offered her a job...not demean her by giving her cash for a convient photo op.

    January 15, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  18. TXJim

    But did Bishop Mittens then baptize the woman?

    January 15, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  19. Save America from itself

    Melissa Crockett - Romney is a Mormon and is not a Christian and therefore his act would not be an Act of Christian Charity
    It is more of a political stunt to get press time and try to show he's like regular folk and not a vulture capitalist who's never created jobs but killed them - so he could get rich.

    If you want to see real job creators then look at Bill Gates and Steve Jobs - they created entire global industries.

    So if $60 bucks buys a vote in the primary, I wonder what Romney would be willing to pay for votes in the General Election.

    January 15, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  20. Chris ( 08034637824 ).

    Presidencial candidates drops more over here. The woman should seek for Nigerian citizenship.

    January 15, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  21. petena

    that is what he calls job creation? I thought he wasn't a socialist. $50 doesn't even translate to .01 cent in this guys bank account. He is a wealth creator – not a job creator. He'll be looking out for wall street.

    January 15, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  22. bgs

    The Romney-trashers are being ridiculous. There was no photo-op for this. He wasn't standing outside polling places handing out cash to voters to "buy" votes. This woman was already a volunteer at his campaign headquarters, so get off it. In the eyes of people like you (posting here), he's damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't. P.S. to "Obama Cares:" Guess you didn't read the part that said he gave the woman whatever cash he happened to have with him which was $50 – $60.

    January 15, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  23. Lisa

    Romney is a pathetic and disgusting crook. Instead of buying votes, he needs to stop refusing to release his income taxes. He also needs to explain to the public why he destroyed emails and replaced the computer hard drives so no his opponents won't find his wrongdoings when he served as governor of MA.

    January 15, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  24. Liberal Media? YGBSM

    @Melissa Crockett

    I guess that outfits like News Corp and the GBN don't count as "media," then...

    The media hasn't been liberal for quite some time.

    BTW: Charity is not just something that Christians do.

    January 15, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  25. mark

    To the tune of "Would you like to swing on a star": "So you want to be the next star,
    Carry fetuses home in a jar,
    Strap your dog on top of the car,
    Chances are you will go very far."

    January 15, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
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