Ditka in ad for Republican gubernatorial candidate

CHICAGO (AP) Da Coach has weighed in on Da Campaign for Illinois governor.

Former Chicago Bears football coach Mike Ditka appears in a new TV ad for Republican candidate Bruce. It aired Sunday during a broadcast of the Bears game against the Buffalo Bills.

The 30-second spot plays off Ditka's reputation as a tough, no-nonsense task master.

In it, the Super Bowl-winning coach sits across a table at a restaurant and tells Rauner he likes him because he opposes special interests. Ditka slams his clenched fist and adds, ''Bam, hit `em right in the mouth.''

When Rauner responds that maybe he's ''been too hard'' on special interests, Ditka gives him a 10-second, silent, cold stare before the Republican backtracks, saying, ''OK. You're right. I don't know what I was thinking.''

''Yeah, stick to the game plan, Bruce!'' Ditka barks. ''Stick to the game plan!''

Rauner, a multimillionaire businessman, is locked in a tight campaign race against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Quinn's campaign responded to the ad in a statement later in the day, drawing attention to the Republican challenger's wealth.

''Only a billionaire ... could afford to run such expensive ads during the Bears game,'' the Quinn campaign said.

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