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Not since President George W. Bush was nearly taken out by a flying shoe has a Secret Service detail felt more…I dunno…awkward? But the weirdest thing about this drive-by hugging is it involved a guy who is both a Republican and a small business owner. Wasn’t this who Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were busy chatting up in their convention? Clearly, this small business owner, didn’t get the memo: Obama–Bad, Romney–Good. The Daily Beast interviews the said hugger:

Were you expecting the president to walk into your shop today?
We had no idea. I had an 18-minute notice that he was there. [Secret Service] came in and made sure the place was safe. Once they secured the building, they called me and I had 18 minutes to get there.

Were you planning to give him such a big welcome when he got there?
Not at all. That’s the funniest thing, too. Everyone thinks it was scripted. Everyone thinks I asked the Secret Service. I didn’t ask the Secret Service anything. I didn’t know what I was going to do. You know what I mean? He just came in, and the way he came in was so genuine and warm. He came over to me like he had known me for 25 years. He said, “Where’s Scott?” He opened the door and I was standing right there. He gave me a big high five, and started talking about my biceps and muscles. He said, “If I eat your pizza, can I get some muscles like that?” We were just fooling around. He gave me this pat on the shoulder, and that’s when the big hug happened.

So you were just caught up in the moment?
Yeah. Very much so. I never understood what that means. You think, Caught up in the moment, what does that really mean? But last week, I was watching the Democratic Convention, and now here the president of the United States walks into my pizza shop in Fort Pierce, Fla. It was pretty amazing.

So what is the workout routine like for someone whose biceps are complimented by the president?
I just try to stay fit, man. I actually, a few months ago, I took four kids with me and we rode bikes for 1,100 miles from West Palm Beach to Washington, D.C. So that kept me in shape for a few months.

What’s your reaction to the angry people who are flooding your restaurant’s Yelp page with bad reviews because you hugged the president?
You see the good and bad in people. That’s what’s wrong with our country. I tell people, whether you’re Republican or Democrat, he’s both of our president. He should be treated with respect, and that’s what’s wrong with our country right now. I don’t think it has to be that way. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and you don’t have to be ugly with yours. You know what I’m trying to say? You have the right to do what you want to do. I’m all for free speech—don’t get me wrong there. But if you don’t have nothing good to say, then don’t say nothing. You know what I’m trying to say? You’re entitled to your opinion. Exercise your vote. That’s the bottom line.

And you’re a registered Republican?
I am registered Republican, believe it or not. That’s why I think there’s all the uproar.

Who are you voting for in this election?
I’m going to vote for Obama. The reason why I voted for him last time is I liked his enthusiasm. I like that he tried to get young people to vote, and involved in community service and politics. I just thought he was the right man at the right time. When he came in today with that same enthusiasm when he came in initially. I still think he’s the right guy at the right time

So you’re not one of the people who feel like he’s let the country down in his first term?
The bottom line is this: I own a small business. I take accountability for my business. I’m not looking to blame the government. And if people had the same mentality of taking care of their own businesses instead of looking to blame somebody when things are a little bad—just tightening things up and doing the best they can—I think we’d be better off that way, too. The whole world is not in a good place right now, and I’m not looking to blame someone. I think that’s the problem. We’re looking more so to blame him for our misfortunes.



  1. In his initial comments, Scott the huger said that he votes for who he “feels right about.” I think the odds of Scott the Huger being a Republican are far less than the odds of him being a liberal plant, or at least a RINO.

    • He says he doesn’t believe government should be responsible for the success or failure of his business. If doesn’t sound like a Republican, I don’t know what does.

      • No, Republicans would admit that the government has been the downfall of many a business and prevents many from getting off the ground.

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