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. J R Brown

    @ Derek:

    Personal charity is not socialism, you putz...socialism is FORCED redistribution of wealth.

    January 15, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  2. Jim

    How is helping a woman pay her light bill illegal? Democrats complaining about buying votes? Really? Ever been to Chicago?

    January 15, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  3. Jt_flyer

    This is a very awkward man. He has no concept how to react to poor people. " I'm unemployed too...". "I faced a pink slip a few times..." ( working for my millionaire farther). And finally... Look there's a poor person. You give poor people money right? Out of touch. A lost soul.

    January 15, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  4. Kim

    @Brian: Your post would have commanded my respect if you had refrained from the excruciatingly juvenile morphing of Mr. Romney's name. That type of fifth grade silliness is best left to the poorly educated.

    I don't care for Mr. Romney's political views, either. But every person has some redeeming qualities, and perhaps we could have a more civil and instructive campaign without the name calling.

    January 15, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  5. Wm.

    No good deed goes unpunished.

    January 15, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  6. italofiila

    The fact that a campaign aide told her to ccome to the campaign event where Romney "recognized" her shows that it was a set up to make him look good. What a CAD. Hate to break it to Romney, but $60 isn't going to help someone like her very long.

    January 15, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  7. Ruben Castilla Herrera

    The story here is that this is a CNN story! The only thing worse than candidate Romney is corporate media making money off stuff like this! This country is messed up for sure in so many ways!

    January 15, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  8. LibsLieAlways

    Libbies will decy it, media will diminish it and bottom line good for him. Obama did the same thing, he handed the homeless people DVD's of his best speeches though like he gave the queen of England. Only these were autographed.

    January 15, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  9. farcier3

    For those who dont know, Mitt Romney has been long involved in charity. He took just 1 dollar of salary as governor of MA. Thats it!! Just 1 dollar as salary as governor.

    January 15, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  10. ChuckBd

    You guys are pathetic. You see a random act of kindness and instead of giving the guy the benefit of the doubt, you immediately assign a dark motive. But heaven forbid anyone say anything like that about Obama.

    Sounds a bit hypocritical to me

    January 15, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  11. JomoDaMusicMan

    Poor woman who needs medical and financial care takes $60 from Rommney, I wonder will she be stupid enough to vote for him for $60. Her vote would be against medicare, against free medical, her vote would be for big business interest and against her own. She would be the Judus, kissing her poor comrades on the cheek and turning them over to the Romans (Teabaggin Racist Republicans) If she vote for Rommney, FORGIVE HER LORD FOR SHE KNOWS NOT WHAT SHE'S DOING

    January 15, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  12. MnWise

    He's such a blow-hard. "Hey! Bring that camera over here, I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm going to give money to someone that needs it!"
    When she get's home she will find a bill in the mail from him. With interest!

    January 15, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  13. unowhoitsme

    He did it to earn points with voters. I'm not impressed. CNN, show us his annual contribution to charities. Now that would be worth seeing for all the candidates.

    January 15, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  14. Romney Can't Walk on Water

    I'm impressed that Romney only had $60 on him. Can you imagine what the Press and the Left would say if he whipped out a money clip with $100's in it!

    January 15, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  15. MollyBee

    It's harder to turn your back when the person in need is standing right in front of you. No matter who the candidate is, we know the Grand Old Party (pushed even more by the Tea folks) will put the country right back on the good old 'trickle down' track. Can you believe a guy who reformed health care in his own state is now opposed to health care reform? The GOP is just politics as usual in an 'unusual' time....out to control government and the economy on behalf of Wall Street and the wealthy.

    January 15, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  16. Steve

    So that's how Romney fight poverty?

    January 15, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  17. Mary

    I like how Romney called on the big dogs to take care of her after he gave her his pocket change. Seriously, there are plenty of other ways to get your lights back on, especially when there's a sick kid at home. The lady could have asked her church for help. Curtis did the right thing; Romney did the publicity thing.

    January 15, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  18. trakk

    Imagine if obama would have done this......the foxtards would have torn him apart.

    January 15, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  19. oz65


    January 15, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  20. Timber

    Looked like grandstanding to me. "Let not your right hand know what your left hand is doing" is the correct way to give. Better to have done this in secret..

    January 15, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  21. Irma in north Carolina

    As much money this guy claims he has $50 isnt very much. Put I suppose Mitt thought he was doing a big thiing.

    January 15, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  22. Anonymous

    I thought Christ spoke of doing charity in private? Oh wait, Mittens isn't really Christian, is he?

    January 15, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  23. dubya

    I gave poor people my autograph! some day itll be worth a fortune

    January 15, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  24. jolooo

    Ok don't you see with your big eyes president bo fail he do not understand the free market, economy,and the american folks, he needs to step aside and let someone to drive

    January 15, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  25. AndyF

    So does this indicate a thawing of at least one GOPer's heart? Does he finally see the light other GOPers are blind too, that there are millions of Americans who were ruined under the GOP watch? Could he possibly recognzie and see what Obama has had to he had to do in terms of this was for saving lives, and what the GOP Congress is doing is potentially killing Americans? Doubt it, but this probably will have millions of Americans asking what Occupy Wall St has been asking, where's my bailout?

    January 15, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
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