Restaurant Turns Down Mitt Romney Visit, Gets Major Backlash

A Denver man is receiving death threats after turning down a campaign visit from Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Oscar Aguirre, who runs his parents' Mexican restaurant in Denver's Highlands neighborhood, said the Romney campaign first approached his family in August regarding using the restaurant as a campaign stop.

"The way he [a member of the campaign] presented it to us was because we're Latinos, we're Mormon, we're a small business, what great venue to host a political, presidential campaign, " Aguirre told sister station KCNC.

According to Aguirre, the Romney organizers said they would not be eating there, but simply wanted to use the restaurant as a campaign stop.

"I said 'look, no,' because Mom said we're not Republicans--we're not going to be a political campaign stop," Aguirre recalled. He told KCNC his family didn't want to be a campaign stop, and likely would have said the same thing to the Obama campaign.

So on Romney's visit to Denver this week, rather than stopping by the Rosa Linda Mexican Cafe, he made a visit to the Stapleton Chipolte. The Westword newspaper then ran a story about Aguirre turning the Romney campaign down. Suddenly, the Rosa Linda Mexican Cafe began receiving a flood of angry e-mails and phone calls

"We're going to boycott you, we hate you, you suck," Aguirre recalled some of the vitriol aimed at his family. He told KCNC that while some of people have simply said that they would no longer be doing business with the restaurant, others were telling him to watch his back.

A formal police complaint has not been made, but Denver police have been on heightened patrol around the restaurant.

Aguirre says all they wanted to do was not be a political platform for anyone. Now, he just wants it to be business as usual.

With the bad, has come the good. The Westword article mentioned the annual Thanksgiving dinner the restaurant does to feed 5,500 people. Donations are now coming in and so are new customers.