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.