Florida pizza shop owner Scott Van Duzer lifted President Barack Obama a solid foot off the ground in a bear hug during an unscripted stop at his Fort Pierce, Fla., store. Literally.
So what did the Secret Service think about Van Duzer — a registered Republican who says he'll vote for Obama in November — hoisting the president? "He said I was all right as long as I didn't take him away," Van Duzer told reporters.
Obama, wrapping up a two-day bus tour through Florida, dropped by the Big Apple Pizza & Pasta Restaurant for the kind of unannounced visit that breathes life into sometimes dreary campaign travel.
"Scott, what's going on, man," the president called as he arrived. "Let me tell you, you are like the biggest pizza shop owner I've ever seen."
"Everybody, look at these guns," Obama said as he chatted with Van Duzer, who is 6'3" and weighs 260 pounds. "If I eat your pizza will I look like that?"
"The two men laughed. They embraced. Van Duzer lifed Potus a good foot off the ground," according to the pool report filed by Politico's Reid Epstein (who is featured giving his best "gadzooks!" look on the far right in the picture below).
"Look at that!" Obama said upon his return to terra firma. "Man, are you a powerlifter or what?"
Well, yes. The pool report notes that Van Duzer later said he can bench press 350 pounds.
The pizza store he founded 16 years ago is the only place he's ever worked. And he has received commendations from the surgeon general's office for his work in encouraging blood donations. (Does he "encourage" with hugs?)