Huffpost Chicago

Ditka Stumps For Palin

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LATROBE, Pa. — Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, on a bus tour of small towns in Pennsylvania as polls show the Democratic ticket leading there by a strong margin, said Friday that Democrat Barack Obama has an ideological commitment to higher taxes. About 3,000 people crowded an open-air hangar for a rally at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh, where temperatures were just above freezing.

"Barack Obama is for bigger government and he's going to raise your taxes," Palin said.

Obama's tax plan calls for no tax increases for working families making less than $250,000 a year or for individuals making less than $200,000 annually. He also pledges to seek a tax cut for the middle class.

The Alaska governor spent much of her speech associating Obama with the "far-left wing" of the Democratic Party and congressional leaders House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Palin said she and presidential candidate John McCain shared President Ronald Reagan's vision for the country as a "shining city on a hill."

"America is not the problem. America is the solution," she said.

Appearing with her husband, Todd, and three of their five children, Palin praised Pennsylvania families for being unpretentious.

"Pennsylvanians just want a good job in your own hometown," she said, "and that's not too much to ask."

Palin was introduced by former Pitt star and Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, who sought to bolster the ticket's conservative, patriotic credentials that Republicans hope will resonate with their Pennsylvania base.

"I'm not here because I'm a Republican, and I am. And I'm not here because I'm a conservative, and I am," Ditka said. "I'm here because I'm an American."

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On the Net:

McCain campaign: http://www.johnmccain.com/

Obama campaign: http://www.barackobama.com/index.php