WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Obama is hoping to get a boost from Florida voters, but today he may have gotten more of a lift than he bargained for.
Making a surprise stop at the Big Apple Pasta & Pizza Restaurant in Ft. Pierce, Fla., this afternoon, the president was greeted enthusiastically by the owner. Overcome with excitement, Scott Van Duzer gave the president a huge hug, physically lifting Obama off the ground.
It should be noted that Van Duzer is a man of considerable stature.
“Look at that!” the president exclaimed after their bear hug, according to pool reports. “Man, are you a powerlifter or what?”
Van Duzer later boasted to the traveling press pool that he can bench press 350 pounds.
“Scott, let me tell you, you are like the biggest pizza shop owner I’ve ever seen,” the president remarked of Van Duzer, 46, who stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 260 pounds.
“Everybody look at these guns,” Obama reportedly said, pointing to the proprietor’s giant muscles. “If I eat your pizza will I look like that?”
A registered Republican, Van Duzer voted for Obama in 2008 and plans to do so again in November.
“I don’t vote party line, I vote who I feel comfortable with, and I do feel extremely comfortable with him,” Van Duzer said, according to pool reports.
Asked about concern that the Secret Service might react to the hug, Van Duzer told the press pool, “He said I was all right as long as I didn’t take him away.”