Obama Hugger Facing Boycott

Pizzeria owner's hug sparks Yelp battle
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2012 1:00 AM CDT
Updated Sep 11, 2012 1:44 AM CDT
Obama Hugger Facing Boycott
President Obama is picked up and lifted off the ground by Scott Van Duzer, owner of Big Apple Pizza and Pasta Italian Restaurant in Ft. Pierce, Fla.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – The Florida pizzeria owner who bear-hugged President Obama over the weekend is facing a major backlash from cheesed-off Republicans. "People are saying a lot of bad things and boycotting my restaurant," says Scott Van Duzer, a registered Republican who voted for Obama in 2008 and plans to do so again. "There’s no middle line anymore, and that’s exactly what’s wrong with our country right now," says Van Duzer, whose work to promote blood donations prompted Obama's visit.

After the hug made the news, the pizzeria's Yelp page was inundated by hundreds of dueling, politically charged reviews, reports the New York Times. "I will not eat from traitor's hands and I'll never take food from man who DIDN'T BUILD his business," wrote one reviewer. But another wrote, "I recommend the ham and pineapple pizza to any pizza eater earning less than $500,000 per year who likes tax cuts, less war, an end to torture, and dead terrorist kingpins." (Read more President Obama stories.)

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