The Washington Post

Obama bear-hugger will be at debate

Scott Van Duzer, the Florida pizza shop owner who lifted President Obama off the ground in a bear hug last month, will be in the audience at Monday night's foreign policy debate in Boca Raton. 

Obama visited the Ft. Pierce pizza shop in September to highlight Van Duzer's involvement in promoting blood donation. But the trip drew national attention for the pizza man's enthusiastic embrace of the president. 

"Scott, let me tell you, you are like the biggest pizza shop owner I've ever seen," Obama said on walking into the pizza place.

Van Duzer is 6'3" and weighs 260 pounds.

"Everybody look at these guns," the president added, pointing to Van Duzer's arm muscles. "If I eat your pizza will I look like that?" 

The two men laughed and embraced.

Then Van Duzer lifted the president a good foot off the ground, according to the pool report."Look at that!" Obama exclaimed once back on firm ground.

"Man are you a power-lifter or what?"red Republican, Van Duzer told reporters at the time that he supported Obama in 2008 and planned to do so again this fall. 

"I don't vote party line, I vote who I feel comfortable with, and I do feel extremely comfortable with him," he said. 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.



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Rachel Weiner · October 22, 2012

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