(LATROBE, PA.) - Former Chicago Bears coaching legend Mike Ditka introduced Sarah Palin at a Halloween morning rally here.
"I'm not here because I'm a Republican, which I am, and I'm not here because I'm a conservative, which I am," Ditka said. "I'm here because I am an American. It's time in this country you put party lines on the backburner and you put your country first."
Ditka grew up in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, and was an All-American tight end at the University of Pittsburgh before embarking on his NFL playing career with the Bears and the Dallas Cowboys.
"This is the land of opportunity, it's not a land of handouts," Ditka said. "If you're willing to work, you can find a job … I want to say how proud I am because I think Sarah Palin epitomizes all the good things, all the good values, of this country."