Republican knocks Obama off his feet

Pic of the day: Republican pizza restaurant owner gives Obama a boost

Topics: Barack Obama, 2012 Elections, From the Wires, Florida,

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) — If President Barack Obama was looking for a lift in Florida, he got one from Scott Van Duzer. The 46-year-old, six-foot-three Republican gave Obama a bear hug, raising him off the ground as Obama marveled at the man’s strength — and enthusiasm.

Van Duzer owns the Big Apple Pizza and Pasta Italian Restaurant where Obama stopped on Sunday during a Florida bus swing. He also runs a foundation that helps collect blood for the ill; he has received White House commendations for his work.

As he entered, Obama admired Van Duzer’s biceps, saying “Look at these guns!”

Said Obama: “The guy’s just got a big heart, along with big pecs.”

Of his embrace, Van Duzer said: “I was overwhelmed when I saw him.”

He said Obama had his vote.

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