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. Joe citizen abroad

    Should buy a tank of gas and a cup of coffee. Well, every little bit helps, I'm sure.

    January 14, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  2. dave5361

    Even if this story is true,it is hard , not to be cynical because Fox is present to broadcast Romney's" benevolence"
    and the superficiality of this story.

    January 14, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  3. S

    Romneys failed Bain Capital Economic Policies will turn all middle class americans into panhandlers.

    January 14, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  4. Dave

    So when he meets with her privately he doesn't give her any money. He says wait until we're at an event with reports and then hands her $50? What a great idea!

    January 14, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  5. janet gass

    Just like kennedy yep darn good guy good for him .

    January 14, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    GOD is good!!!

    January 14, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  7. Vic

    The King coming to town giving alms?

    January 14, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  8. whoosh

    256,000,000÷60 = The white house? Not!

    January 14, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  9. Minniejune

    "If your poor and you don't have no job, it's yo fault."

    January 14, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  10. Leeroy

    There is a big difference between the government carelessly giving away the tax payer's dollars (Democrats / Obama) and a private citizen making a private, charitable contribution to another needy individual (Romney in this case). Sad to see that so many on this blog can't distinguish between the two. GO ROMNEY! GO LDS dot ORG! 🙂

    January 14, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  11. Annie

    Note to liberals: Giving your own money away of your own free will is not socialism. Socialism is when the govt steals your money and gives it away.

    January 14, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  12. kat

    You are all sad, cynical people. Can't a candidate just be nice? I might not vote for him, but I give him credit for being kind.

    January 14, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  13. munkittrick

    There is no better way to prove that you're out of touch with the American people than by patronizing them at the expense of their dignity and belittling the entire idea of self-respect than doling out a fistful of your pocket change in clear view of a crowd. People who do this for publicity or as a means to show that they “understand” the plight of the common American are valueless and utterly disconnected from the reality that we are faced with…all while enjoying the largest pile of campaign cash in the last 4 election years combined. A55HOLE!

    January 14, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  14. siefertsan

    So he gave her a few bucks.... she seemed to appreciate it, she seemed to find it a sincere gesture.....would you all be happier had he yelled “Get a job!” at her? The amount of hate spewing never ceases to amaze me; I’m just going to have to stop reading comments. Now and again I’ll find something funny or insightful but it mostly brings me down to read such uneducated views presented in a hateful, often unintelligible way (regardless of party affiliation). Peace.

    January 14, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  15. eclectos

    Why is he wasting his money on a good-for-nothing slacker who makes bad choices? He's enabling her idleness. He should have told her to straighten up and get a job. That's what good Republicans do. He's denying her the chance to be successful.

    January 14, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  16. 2reham_t

    That's like giving the only banana to the smallest monkey in a troop..

    January 14, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  17. Sean

    Tebow is getting T-Boned in New England! Now that's 'change' I can believe in!

    January 14, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  18. DavidE7

    I heard that Hitler used to pat little children and dogs on the head.

    January 14, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  19. BunnyBunny

    $60 to a supporter who is having a hard time making ends meet. Side bet with Perry, $10,000. Big difference there.

    January 14, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  20. snookers

    Folks want jobs with living wages. Not demeaning very temporary hand outs from on of the greedy recipients of the great transfer of wealth over the last 20 years.

    January 14, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  21. Leeroy

    It's called charity. You can read about it in the scriptures. Perhaps if more people tried it, we wouldn't need wasteful government welfare systems. LDS dot Org / Mormon dot Org

    January 14, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  22. Hmmmmm....

    Boy isn't this a pretty little PR piece with a nice little CNN ribbon on it.... WE'RE NOT THAT STUPID MITT!! Well judging by the comments above, perhaps some of us are lol...

    January 14, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  23. Bob

    She sure is bought easily. I wonder what $100 could buy.

    January 14, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  24. Ronald Reagan Fan

    Why is Obama the closest thing we have to a Ronald Reagan Republican??? I have to choose between a guy without convictiction and a bunch of others that think party first and country last and that they need to bash fellow Americans. The Bush tax cuts didn't work and the middle class is getting hammered and we don't have one candidate that has an idea that is not less taxes for corporations and the rich. The only two groups that are doing great already. Maybe Obama will switch parties. He is the only one trying to help the middle class and upper middle class get back on our feet!

    January 14, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  25. skarphace

    I am willing to give Romney the benefit of the doubt and believe that he did not think that this would get more people to vote for him. I would say, though, that it would have been more of an act of charity if he would have done this anonymously instead of publicly.

    January 14, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
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