*Whoa! Of all the things to be boycotted for: bear-hugging the president?

But that’s what one Florida man is facing because he couldn’t curb his enthusiasm when President Barack Obama made his pizza store a part of his campaign stop, as we reported yesterday.

“People are saying a lot of bad things and boycotting my restaurant,” Scott Van Duzer, 46, told POLITICO, following a visit by the presidential party to his pizza shop. “There’s no middle line anymore, and that’s exactly what’s wrong with our country right now.”

But there’s a back-story here; this stop was no fluke.

Van Duzer had biked 1,148 miles in 31 days from Florida to Washington D.C.to help raise awareness for blood donation shortages. His Van Duzer Foundation, founded in 2008 to support a local firefighter whose house burned down, has raised more than $600,000. The pizza shop owner said he rode with a few kids from the Boys and Girls Club and met with U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin to discuss blood shortages.

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Obama told The New York Times that Van Duzer’s effort in promoting blood donations was part of the reason the campaign decided to visit his pizza shop.

“One of the reasons that we wanted to stop by is that Scott has been doing unbelievable work out of this pizza shop in promoting the importance of donating blood,” Obama told the Times. “And so he has set some records here in Florida. He has received commendations from the White House, the surgeon general, he has galvanized and mobilized the local community, and he’s educating kids and folks all across the country on this issue.”

Van Duzer says when he bear-hugged the president, lifting him high off of his feet, he hadn’t even warmed up.

“I don’t work out that much, man. Usually, it’s about two days per week. The bike ride was my big thing,” Van Duzer said. “I’m starting to go back to the gym right now. I need to start maintaining.”

He did make an interesting comment about the president’s agility though; and even went as far as to say that he thinks the president would win hands down in a workout battle with Mitt Romney running mate, Paul Ryan; whose sculpted abs are thanks to intense P90X training sessions.

“I think Obama could take him,” Van Duzer said, laughing. “Obama looked pretty fast and pretty quick on his feet.”

Hmmmm, challenge?

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