The Mormon owners of a Mexican cafe in Denver say that they have gotten death threats, hate calls and fake orders after refusing to allow Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to make campaign stop at their restaurant.
“One person who called said, ‘Watch your back. We know where live and we’re going after you,'” Oscar Aguirre, the son of the owners of Rosa Linda Mexican Cafe, told KMGH New Media Producer Wayne Harrison. “We just didn’t want our business used as a campaign stop.”
Aguirre explained that callers had been misinformed that the restaurant had refused to serve Romney.
“It was presented to us that [Romney] wanted to do a political stump here,” he told the station. “[He wanted to] talk about our small business [and] because we share our religious views with the candidate and are Latinos it would be great for him to do a campaign stop.”
“We did say ‘no’ because we are not Republicans, nor are we Democrats. We will welcome any sitting President of the United States. But, we did not want to be a campaign stop.”
The Mexican Cafe has also been flooded with fake orders and canceled reservations, according to Aguirre.
“Two people ordered $150 worth of food for lunch to be picked up today. They called later and said, ‘Oh, you’re the one who doesn’t want Romney in your business’ and they canceled their orders, even though the food had been prepared,” he recalled.
Aguirre said that the trouble began after an article published by Denver Westword earlier this week reported that their mother had refused the Romney campaign’s offer because “religion and politics don’t mix.”
“Since this article came out we have been getting hate emails, from people across the country, people sending us death threats and people calling us telling us we are racist… that they hope we go out of business,” Aguirre wrote in a letter on Wednesday. “If we do go out of business our Annual Thanksgiving Feast to the needy would end. Last year we fed 5500 meals, this year we may serve above 6000 meals.”
“Please let the American public know that we are not racist or bigots. We are just a working family wanting to help our community and our country by serving those in need,” he added.
“PLEASE STOP THE HATE!!”
Watch this video of Rosa Linda Mexican Cafe feeding the needy for Thanksgiving in 2011.
[Editor’s Note: This report was updated to specifically credit KMGH New Media Producer Wayne Harrison for his interview with Oscar Aguirre.]