Romney hands over $60 to struggling supporter

 

Mitt Romney, the front-runner in the race for the Republican US presidential nomination, handed over a fistful of cash to an unemployed supporter at one of his rallies on Saturday night, after she complained of being so hard-up that she could not afford her electricity bills.

The multi-millionaire former private equity boss reached into his wallet and pulled out about $60, according to the woman, Ruth Williams. Ms Williams, recounted the extraordinary incident to reporters after the rally, saying she had been volunteering at the Romney campaign headquarters in the vital battleground state of South Carolina for several days. "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 [Mr Romney's] bus was there," she said. She added that she then followed the bus to the airport "because the Lord told me", and saw Mr Romney arriving after his blow-out win in the New Hampshire primary last week. "It sounds strange but he really did. I mean God really talked to me about this," said Ms Williams, 55.

Another Romney aide paid $150 towards her electricity bill after she began volunteering, and Mr Romney himself was told about her story shortly after he arrived to begin campaigning.

He appears on course for another big victory in South Carolina, a state that could effectively seal his nomination as the Republican candidate to oppose Barack Obama in November.

The latest poll for Reuters/Ipsos shows him with a 19-point lead over the joint second-place candidates Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.

South Carolina's Republicans vote will next Saturday.

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