Ditka returns to political fray in Rauner ad

  • Bears legend Mike Ditka showed he could play on both sides of the ball Sunday in a TV spot for Republican Bruce Rauner -- almost exactly four years ago, it was Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn who released a Ditka video to try to bolster his hopes.

    Bears legend Mike Ditka showed he could play on both sides of the ball Sunday in a TV spot for Republican Bruce Rauner -- almost exactly four years ago, it was Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn who released a Ditka video to try to bolster his hopes. Daily Herald file photo

  • Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, left, is running for re-election against Republican Bruce Rauner.

    Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, left, is running for re-election against Republican Bruce Rauner.

 
 
Updated 9/8/2014 4:41 PM

Bears legend Mike Ditka showed he could play on both sides of the ball Sunday in a TV spot for Republican Bruce Rauner.

Rauner's campaign debuted an ad during Sunday's Bears game showing Ditka praising the Winnetka businessman's toughness. But almost exactly four years ago, it was Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn who released a Ditka video to try to bolster his hopes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Quinn campaign posted the video to YouTube in September 2010 showing Ditka offering praise, though without using the governor's name.

"He's a good man," Ditka says. "I mean I think that this is a great state and I think great states deserve great leaders."

The Rauner spot featured Ditka staring down at the candidate after Rauner suggests perhaps his criticism of Springfield has been too harsh.

"Stick to the game plan, Bruce," Ditka says.

Ditka is registered to vote in Florida and therefore can't vote for Rauner, according to a Sun-Times report.

Ditka enters the massive battle for Illinois governor that has seen its share of wackiness. The race since the March primary has included dueling chicken mascots, an adult man dressed as Pinocchio, fake news releases and both men trying to tell voters they're common men -- via Quinn's manual lawn mower and Rauner's old Volkswagen van.

Ditka has been politically involved before, describes himself as conservative and once considered running for U.S. Senate in Illinois as a Republican in 2004, the year President Barack Obama won election to his only Senate term.

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