AUDIO: Joe Kasko’s interview with Ruth Williams, who shares her story.
The woman who made headlines after GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave her $50 at a campaign event was in attendance Saturday night to support the former Massachusetts governor at his election viewing party.
Ruth Williams drove to the State Fairgrounds Saturday night on an empty tank of gas because she felt she had to be there.
“God told me to come,” she said. “I know it sounds out of this world.”
Williams, 55, has been unemployed since October. She said she had been cleaning houses for home builders, but has had trouble finding work with the downturn in the housing market.
Williams said it was God that told her to seek out Romney, after his campaign bus pulled up next to her at a traffic light. She eventually got an opportunity to speak to the candidate at a campaign event in Sumter.
“He really took time and he listened to me. Out of all those people he took time and listened to little me,” said Williams, as she fought back tears.
“I didn’t expect him to do anything and he gave me money. That was the water bill. Our water was turned off.”
Williams said state Treasurer and Romney supporter Curtis Loftis also gave her money.
“He pulled money out of his pocket and it paid part of the light bill. That kept us going and it gave us food to eat.
However, Williams, who had been homeless and living out of a van for part of last year, said she isn’t looking for handouts.
“I just want to work. I just want to work,” she said. “I don’t want to be homeless.”
Williams is also trying to care for her ailing adult son. In October 2010, Williams’ 26-year-old son Joe suffered a brain aneurysm that has left him unable to work and in need of care.
“It’s hard being a primary care giver for a grown son that’s got a problem,” she said.
“I can’t give my son away. I would rather sleep in nothing than to give my child away, but if somebody would just show me how to help him.”
Williams said people have criticized her and Romney, alleging that the former governor was trying to buy her vote. However, she said the Romney campaign hasn’t asked her for anything.
“Don’t talk about people that you don’t know their story. You don’t know my story. God really told me and I wouldn’t lie.”
Williams said she will be a Romney supporter throughout the campaign.
“It was like God answered my prayer. He used him even if he didn’t win here. He used him to help me and my kids to make it another week.”
Williams said she has had numerous interview requests since word of her story broke, but she has been hesitant to share it. She said that’s why she felt she needed to be at the Romney rally Saturday night.
“God said the right person is going to be there. It’s time to tell the true story.”