If liberals boycott a chicken sandwich chain over their anti-gay rights stances, conservatives call it a violation of free speech, but when a local Denver restaurant refuses to host a campaign stop for Mitt Romney, the conservative response is not only boycotts, but harassment, and even death threats.
Rosa Linda Mexican Cafe has been a Denver mainstay for over 25 years. They’ve seen their surroundings, in Northwest Denver, go from a place Denverites drive around to a place they drive to, and a place they’re proud to call home. Despite the fact that their neighborhood is currently trendy, it still has a deeply-rooted Latino feel and traditions. With Romney seriously behind with the Latino vote, it’s no surprise that he would want to have a photo-op at a community favorite.
Oscar Aguirre, the eldest son of the owners of Rosa Linda cafe, said that the restaurant was contacted by the Romney campaign back in August. The Aguirre family is Mormon, so the campaign was no doubt surprised when they were turned down.
“It was presented to us that (Romney) wanted to do a political stump here. (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,” Aguire said. “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.”
“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 told 7 NEWS.
“Since the Westword article came out, hate mail has been coming in 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,” he said.
The Aguirre family calls themselves neither Republican or Democrat, however their surroundings are strongly Democratic. According to Westword,
This is not the first time Rosa Linda’s owners have taken a political stance: In 2000, they also declined an offer from Bush supporters who wanted the then-president to visit. This time around, as Aguirre recounts on the restaurant’s Facebook page, the man who reached out told them that “since Mr. Romney is LDS as well as our parents, it would make a great platform for his election. Mom again said NO. Religion and politics don’t mix … We were better off when Clinton was in office …”
Not that they would refuse entry to President Obama: According to Oscar Aguirre, the president has twice eaten Rosa Linda’s food at catered local events, and Aguirre says the president even sent the restaurant a letter of thanks. The next step is to get him inside the physical location.
“We would love to have him,” Aguirre says. “Absolutely.”
Rosa Linda is well known throughout Denver for feeding the needy every Thanksgiving. Last year, they fed 5,500 people. This year, it could be as many as 6,000. If they are forced to shut down, many will go hungry this Thanksgiving.
This video is available on DenverPost.com:
If you are in the Denver area, you can visit Rosa Linda Mexican Cafe at 2005 W. 33rd Ave. Please offer your support. Here is their Facebook page.