ABC News' Imtiyaz Delawala reports: Near the hometown of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath, Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin guaranteed a come-from-behind victory for the McCain-Palin ticket in Pennsylvania.
“This morning we were in Ohio, we were in the home of Joe the Plumber,” Palin said to a crowd of supporters packed onto the football field of Beaver Area High School near Pittsburgh, Pa., this evening. “And now, we are here in Beaver County, Pa., home of Joe the Quarterback.”
Palin was referring to former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath, who was born and raised in nearby Beaver Falls, and led the underdog Jets to an upset win in Super Bowl III over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts, after Namath had guaranteed a win three days before the game.
“Now, Joe Namath is probably a little bit before your time,” Palin said to the high school students in the crowd. “But do you remember, though, in the biggest game of his life, all the experts had Joe Namath and the Jets written off to defeat? They were up against the elite team that had all the money, and they were held in awe by the media. And Broadway Joe replied, 'we’re gonna win the game, I guarantee it.' And they won.
“And I hope Joe won’t mind if I paraphrase him some in this state, his home state, Pennsylvania, with your help, we’re going to win this state. I guarantee it,” Palin said to wild applause.
Like the Jets in Super Bowl III, the McCain-Palin ticket faces an uphill battle in the Keystone State, which has been won by the Democratic ticket in the last four presidential elections. The latest state polls show the Obama-Biden ticket ahead by at least 10 points with less than two weeks to go before Election Day.
At the western Pennsylvania rally, Palin continued the Republican ticket’s use of Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher’s encounter with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., to attempt to paint the Democratic presidential nominee’s tax policies as a radical plan to redistribute wealth. A few supporters in the crowd shouted “socialism” during Palin’s remarks, while another man yelled out “Obama’s a socialist!” above the crowd.
“He’s hiding his real agenda of redistributing your hard-earned money,” Palin said to boos. “So I know that we have other Joe the Plumbers in the house, in this audience today, and it doesn’t sound like many of you are gonna be supporting ‘Barack the Wealth-Spreader’ in this election.”
As she had done in Ohio earlier in the day, Palin asked the crowd to “hire” the McCain-Palin ticket on Nov. 4.
“We will never forget that we’re accountable to the people who hired us. We will be there to work for you, the good people of America. So, Pennsylvania, will you hire us, will you send us to Washington to shake things up and clean things up?” Palin asked, prompting cheers and applause, and chants of “Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!” from the crowd.
“Well, good, it’s a deal. We’ll take the job,” Palin added after the applause died down.