Scott Van Duzer, 46, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, made headlines when he power lifted President Obama off his feet during a campaign stop on Sunday. Van Duzer, who owns the Big Apple Pizza & Pasta Restaurant in Fort Pierce, Fla., says angry residents are threatening to boycott his pizza shop after he hugged the president during the campaign stop.
“People are saying a lot of bad things and boycotting my restaurant,” Van Duzer told POLITICO.com. “There’s no middle line anymore, and that's exactly what’s wrong with our country right now.”
By now you've all seen the photo of the Republican pizzeria owner bear hugging Mr. Obama. The first thing I thought when I saw the picture was where are the Secret Service? If the photo had not been staged Secret Service agents would've beat him worse than Chris Brown beat Rihanna.
At the very least, the poor guy would've been shipped off to Guantanamo Bay with the other terrorists. You never touch the president of the United States -- unless it's for a staged photo op to make Obama seem less threatening to white folks who are still on the fence about voting for him.
The photo op comes just days after a Virginia bakery owner refused the White House's request to host an event for Mr. Obama's campaign for re-election.
Now Van Duzer is complaining that a few nut cases are calling for a boycott of his establishment because he hugged the president.
President obama chose Mr. Van Duzer's pizza shop because of his charitable efforts.
POLITICO reports that Van Duzer, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 260 pounds, rode his bicycle 1,148 miles in 31 days from Florida to Washington D.C., to raise awareness for the need to donate blood.
“One of the reasons that we wanted to stop by is that Scott has been doing unbelievable work out of this pizza shop in promoting the importance of donating blood,” Obama told the NY Times. “And so he has set some records here in Florida. He has received commendations from the White House, the surgeon general, he has galvanized and mobilized the local community and he's educating kids and folks all across the country on this issue.”
The Van Duzer Foundation was founded in 2008 to support a local firefighter whose house burned down.
Van Duzer told POLITICO he didn't break a sweat lifting the 176 pound Obama.
He says he bench presses 350 pounds at six reps, usually twice a week. A torn achilles tendon (during a vigorous game of dodgeball) slowed him down a bit.
“When I was in peak condition, I lifted five times a week,” he said. “But that was before my injury.”
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