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Does Obama Back The Steelers Over The Packers?

By Jon Delano, KDKA Political Editor
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(Photo Credit: Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — First thing to know, President Obama’s favorite football team — no surprise — is from his hometown, the Chicago Bears.

But a close runner-up just might be the Pittsburgh Steelers.

So when the president chose to go to Green Bay, Wis., the day after his State of the Union speech, it’s only fair to ask: which team is he really rooting for in the Super Bowl?

When Air Force One landed in Green Bay on Wednesday morning, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker tried hard to turn President Obama into a Packers fan.

Fat chance of that.

“Go Steelers, unless you’re playing the Bears,” the president told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano a few years ago.

Obama’s love affair with the Steelers goes back to his youth, as Jon Delano discovered when he first interviewed him in March 2008.

Delano: “When you think Pittsburgh, what comes to mind?”

Obama: “Steelers. You know when I was kid, we didn’t have our own football team. I was growing up in Hawaii. This is back in the 1970s, so the Steelers — that was my team.”

That relationship solidified when Republican Dan Rooney, owner of the Steelers, endorsed Obama in the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary.

And it didn’t hurt that Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis joined Obama on his “Road to Change” bus tour during the 2008 campaign.

Did any Packers do that for Obama?

Well, certainly not like the Steelers, as now Ambassador Rooney who personally campaigned for Obama can attest.

In Wisconsin, the president still seemed a little bitter about the Packers defeat of his beloved Chicago Bears.

“We will get you next year. I’m just letting you know,” he told Packers fans today.

And Obama didn’t seem swayed by all the Packers jerseys.

“I’ve only been on the ground for an hour. I’ve got three jerseys. One of them is from Woodson, who just said, ‘See you in the White House.’”

Not likely! After all, it was the Steelers who visited him at the White House shortly after his inauguration in 2009.

So just in case any Packers fans are watching, let’s repeat what the president said a couple years ago.
“Go Steelers, unless you’re playing the Bears.”

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer told Jon Delano that we shouldn’t read too much into the president’s trip to Wisconsin.

While he admitted that he hasn’t asked the president which team he’s rooting for in this year’s Super Bowl, there is no evidence that Obama is changing his loyalties.

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