When the president’s motorcade passed Big Apple Pizza in Florida Obama just had to stop in for a slice. But the President got a little more than he bargained for when he received a foot-lifting bear hug from owner Scott Van Duzer.
Obama was welcomed with open, and muscly, arms at the Florida restaurant. MSNBC reports that the 6 foot 3, 260 pound owner lifted the president up off the floor with a huge bear hug.
Van Duzer, a Republican, has been commended by the White House for the charity he runs collecting blood for the ill.
The President said:
“One of the reasons we wanted to stop by, is Scott has been doing unbelievable work out of this pizza shop in promoting the importance of donating blood. He has set some records here in Florida, he has received commendations from the White House, our surgeon general. He has galvanized and mobilized the local community and he’s educated kids and folks all across the country on this issue. And so this is an example of somebody who’s doing well, but he’s also giving back and so we just want to say how proud we are of him. I’m still wondering how he got these biceps but what we know is that the guy’s got a big heart along with big pecs.”
Van Duzer said that he typically votes Republican but he voted for Obama in 2008 and he plans to do so again this year.
Van Duzer said:
“I got goosebumps. I’m so excited and just overwhelmed — just overwhelmed when I saw him. Blown away… I believe he’s as passionate as I am. I’m a very passionate person, and just to see his enthusiasm, that’s what it’s about.”
Here’s a video of Van Duzer giving the president a bear hug. (You can see the photo here.)