Arizona restaurant owners face social media criticism for showing support for President Trump
CATALINA, Ariz. - The owners of a Mexican restaurant in the Tucson area are pushing back against social media attacks after they appeared at President Donald Trump's recent campaign rally in Phoenix. They say they have a right to support who they want without getting lambasted.
Inside Sammy's Mexican Grill in Catalina, which is north of Tucson, it's no secret who the owners stand behind.
"We have supported the president since pretty much day one," said Jorge Rivas.
Jorge and Betty Rivas were working behind the counter over the weekend, but a week and a half ago, they sat behind the president at his rally in Phoenix.
"Every single rally he's had in Phoenix, either she goes or I go. This time, we decided we would both go," said Jorge.
A decision that would hurt them in the following days.
Betty's face was circled and posted on Facebook, singled out for attending the rally.
"People recognize her being at the rally. They circle her face, her picture and say this is the lady who owns the Mexican grill," said Jorge.
Negative comments continued on Facebook and Jorge says they've received numerous phone calls in response.
"They had a few guys calling, saying you're racist, evil, the worst of the worse."
It's not the first time this issue has come up for Jorge and Betty. They experienced a lot of anger following their appearance at a 2016 Trump rally.
"When we started seeing the comments on Facebook and Google, we said there we go, it's starting again."
Online, commenters say they should leave politics out of their business, but the Rivases say it's their right to free speech.
"We feel that it is very important to say this is what we stand for. We are Republicans, we are behind the president."
And they have no plans of getting out of the kitchen, despite the heat!
Take a look at this tweet from President Trump about Sammy's Mexican Grill.
It's located in the Tucson area, not Phoenix, but the tweet is a sign of how the president wanted to pay them back with a show of support for the owners.
President Trump praises Tucson restaurant after owners face backlash for attending Trump rally