Obama gets an unexpected lift by pizza shop owner

President Barack Obama, right, is picked-up and lifted off the ground by Scott Van Duzer, left, owner of Big Apple Pizza and Pasta Italian Restaurant during an unannounced stop, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Ft. Pierce, Fla. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

President Barack Obama, right, is picked-up and lifted off the ground by Scott Van Duzer, left, owner of Big Apple Pizza and Pasta Italian Restaurant during an unannounced stop, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Ft. Pierce, Fla.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
(CBS News) Upon walking into the Big Apple Pizza & Pasta Restaurant in Ft. Pierce, Fla., Sunday afternoon, President Obama received an enthusiastic greeting by the shop's owner who wrapped his arms around the president's back for a hug and and lifted him him off the ground.

"Man, are you a power lifter or what?" Mr. Obama joked after being placed back on the ground.

(Watch the president get an unexpected bear hug in the video to the left.)

I was "just overcome with excitement," owner Scott Van Duzer, who is 6'3" and weighs 260 pounds, said, according to pool reports. The president weighs 181 pounds.

Prior to the hug, Mr. Obama noted Van Duzer's muscular build, saying, "Everybody look at these guns." He added: "Scott, let me tell you, you are like the biggest pizza shop owner I've ever seen."

Van Duzer, who said the pizza shop is the only place he's ever worked after opening it when he was 16, told reporters that he is a Republican who is "a big political person" but doesn't vote along party lines. He said he voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 and will again this year. "I vote who I feel comfortable with, and I do feel extremely comfortable with him," Van Duzer said.

The president said he visited Van Duzer because of the "importance" of the work he does as a local- and nationally-recognized blood donor. "[H]e has galvanized and mobilized the local community and he's educating kids and folks all across the country on this issue," Mr. Obama told reporters, according to the pool report.

"I still wonder how he got these biceps, but what we know is that the guy's just got a big heart along with big pecs," the president added.

Van Duzer said he received notice that the president was stopping by about forty minutes before the president's arrival. He said he rushed from the golf course to meet the president.

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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