Employees at Arcaro and Genell Takeaway Kitchen got a surprise treat when the sitting president, who also happens to be a lifelong New Yorker and therefore knows good pizza, stopped by their establishment to pick up a pie. President Donald Trump was in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, on Thursday to deliver a campaign speech at Mariotti Building Products when he made the detour to the nearby establishment, the Bucks County Courier Times reported.
A Facebook post with a video taken from the vantage point behind the counter showed Trump being met by applause and interacting with employees.
“So the pizza’s good, I hear, huh?” the president said.
“Sausage, I want that one,” he said enthusiastically, pointing to one of the pizza boxes prepared to go back with him on Air Force One.
Trump signed autographs and asked about the plexiglass partition in front of the counter installed during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Do you look forward to the day it comes down?” he asked.
“Yes,” one worker replied.
“Me too. We’re getting there,” the president said.
Trump turned to the waiting media and explained why he chose the place.
“They supposedly have the best pizza. We’ll let you know about it in a half-hour,” he said as he held out the open box with the previously claimed sausage pie for media photographs.
According to Arcaro and Genell’s website, the Old Forge pizza tradition began with the coal miners who “would climb out of the earth at night and go to the local taverns for some down time” where they first enjoyed the rectangular pizzas their daughters and wives prepared using homemade dough topped with spices and tomatoes grown in their home gardens.
The pizzeria boasts that the Italian specialty has made the borough “The Pizza Capital of the World,” and surely Trump’s visit will do much to encourage that moniker. Located about 10 miles from Scranton, Old Forge is practically in native son Joe Biden’s backyard in the battleground state, leading Trump to tease about the Democratic presidential nominee’s hometown claims at his stump speech earlier that day.
“But this Scranton stuff. That’s why I figured I’d come here and explain to you one thing,” Trump said to the crowd in the lumberyard at the building company.
“But I think you people know it better than I do: He left. He abandoned Pennsylvania. He abandoned Scranton.”
“He was here for a short period of time and he didn’t even know it,” Trump said referring to the fact that Biden left the commonwealth when he was just a child.
“And today it’s amazing, it goes around in a circle. He still doesn’t know it,” the president quipped about the Democratic presidential nominee’s repeated memory lapses.
“But he spent the last half-century in Washington selling out our country and ripping off our jobs and letting other countries steal our jobs, Mexico, China, all of them stealing our jobs,” Trump continued.
“He’s been there for 47 years, and now he’s going to come in and make a change,” he said. “I don’t think so.”
In the 2016 presidential election, Trump did very well in Lackawanna County, where Scranton and Old Forge are located, even though it previously tipped majority Democratic for former President Barack Obama both times he ran, the New York Times reported. When Trump won Pennsylvania that year, he became the first Republican candidate to turn the state red in a presidential election since 1988. He did very well in Northeastern Pennsylvania because of his appeal to the hardworking common man, and according to a recent poll, still leads heavily over Biden, 68 percent to 21 percent, in that region.
With Trump so popular in that area, one could say that when he stopped for pizza near Biden’s hometown, he was preparing to eat Joe’s lunch — both literally and figuratively.