October 31st, 2008
11:00 AM ET
14 years ago

Mike Ditka hits the campaign trail with Palin

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/27/palin.tension/art.palin.gi.jpg caption=" Sarah Palin is campaigning with Mike Ditka on Friday."]
LATROBE, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Barack Obama may be one of America’s most famous Chicago Bears fans, but the team’s legendary former coach Mike Ditka isn’t returning the sentiment - he’s campaigning with Sarah Palin.

Ditka, who also coached the New Orleans Saints and is now an analyst on ESPN, hit the trail with Palin on Friday in western Pennsylvania, where he was born and raised.

“Thing I know about Pennsylvania, you're great people, you're hardworking people,” Ditka said, introducing Palin in Latrobe. “No-nonsense people, and that's what this is all about. 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. I'm here because I am an American.”

Ditka proceeded to challenge Obama’s campaign mantra.

“We talk about change,” Ditka said. “Change from what, to what, and how? How you gonna do anything? Don’t talk about what you’re going to do, prove you can do something! If we're smart, the only option we have is to elect John McCain and Sarah Palin. Put ‘em in the White House, and let ‘em redirect where we're going.”

It's not the first time Ditka and Barack Obama have found themselves on opposing teams - the mustaschioed Super Bowl winner saw his name floated in the 2004 Illinois senate race as a possible Republican opponent to Obama.

Departing somewhat from John McCain's argument that failures on Wall Street and in Washington have imperiled the American worker, Ditka argued that anyone seeking employment can find a job - as long as they’re willing to make an effort.

“This is the land of opportunity,” he said. “It's not a land of handouts. If you’re willing to work, you can find a job. If you're willing to work, you can find a job.”


Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (506 Responses)
  1. lindapuma

    Mike Ditka is incredibly wealthy...its no shock he supports the McCain Palin agenda for separating the wealth.

    October 31, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Chicago Bears fan

    I didn't think that Mike Ditka could ever possibly do it but he has lost my respect. Mike Ditka is obviously nothing more then a neo-con.

    October 31, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. Eric from Columbus

    And we care why?

    October 31, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. Vegas

    “This is the land of opportunity,” he said. “It's not a land of handouts. If you’re willing to work, you can find a job. If you're willing to work, you can find a job.”

    I agree Mike... to bad there are so many that prefer the handout... it's easier I guess... if your self respect doesn't get in the way... mine would.

    Iron Mike bashing in 5-4-3-2-1

    October 31, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon

    Um...who cares?

    October 31, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Drone

    Shut your pie hole ditka

    October 31, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  7. KahneeO

    Ditka is Mr. Irrelevant!

    October 31, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Butch Dillon

    Ditka and Palin, a brain trust from the low rent district. Combined, these two would neither recognize nor speak the truth because YOUR life depends upon it.

    October 31, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. ANDY DAAS

    Mike please stick to football because you are clueless about politics.

    October 31, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. The American Dream is Alive and Well

    Ditka – I liked you until now (especially in Kicking and Screaming – hilarious). While it is absolutely appropriate to ask a candidate what they are going to do and HOW they are going to do it – Obama has outlined several detailed examples of exactly what and how he will do it. John McCain and Sarah Palin have not outlined in any specific detail how they will do ANYTHING they propose to do. They've barely proposed anything at all. All they do is talk badly about Obama, instead of talking positively about what they can do for this country. Shame on you Ditka for falling for their crap.

    October 31, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  11. Michael watching from Canada

    When does a football player and coach become an expert on the economy?

    Whose endorsement do you trust better.......

    Mike Ditka or Colin Powell?

    October 31, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  12. r sisk, nevada

    What a shock!!!! A wealthy ex-professional super jock that probably has no tolerance for anyone except whites voting for McCain.

    October 31, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  13. Proud to be American

    Spoken like a wealthy out of touch man .... sort of like McSimple and Painlin.... I can not wait until they take their departure away .... far, far away from the white house....

    Vote Early for Obama and Biden 2008! Yes we can!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Ashley

    Maybe this Ditka guy should pay more attention to the issues. Obama has clearly and articulately laid out his plans. I'm not sure what McCains intentions are. If your hosue isn't in order then you can not succeed. That seems to be the issue in the McCain and Palin camp. Get it together and give credit where credit is due...Obama/Biden 08'

    October 31, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. Terry B.

    *LOL* This is the same guy that gave away all the New Orleans Saints draft picks in order to pick one guy, Ricky Williams and we now know about his habitual drug habit. Even though one of his teams won the Super Bowl, Ditka has a history of siding with losers so why would anyone be surprised about this choice. That and I am betting he is against Obama because his taxes are going to go up.

    October 31, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. Ethan

    How does this pay down the National Debt? It's the economy, stupid, AGAIN.

    October 31, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. vote! OBAMA-BIDEN NOV.4th

    HERE PALIN GOES AGAIN, PUTTING SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT BEFORE CRITICAL ISSUES, LIKE THE ECONOMY, OUR JOBS , HEALTH CARE, IT SEEMS UNLESS THEY CAN HAVE SOMEONE TO DIVERT THE ATTENTION AWAY FROM THEMSELVES THAT THEY CAN'T EVEN TALK TO THE VOTERS, WE'VE HAD ENOUGH. VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN

    October 31, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. Obamafied Cheesehead

    Another out of touch personality out there for McCain.

    October 31, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. Nico Sciscente

    Ditka – stick to football.....you know nothing about politics!!......GO PACKERS GO!!!!!!!!!!!:))))))))

    October 31, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. BBB

    His brain power never terribly impressed me...

    October 31, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. RACHEL

    Newsflash for Mr. Ditka: There are a lot of people, 750,000 alone this year, that are willing to work except that their companies decided there would be no more work for them. And there are plenty of people, including a lot of recent college graduates, that are willing and able and eager to work, but it's a bit hard to land a job during a time when companies and businesses cutting costs and/or laying people off instead of hiring .To insinuate that the reason they don't have jobs is because they are not willing to work is ridiculous.

    It just shows how out of touch the typical Republican is.

    October 31, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  22. Scott L

    Ditka is awesome!

    I can't even imagine how mad he will be if Obama wins!

    October 31, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. Sebastian, Baton Rouge, LA

    The Stupid Bowl Shuffle.

    October 31, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. Jano1234

    I LOVE you, Mike Ditka. You are the man!!!!

    October 31, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. Joe

    Yeah. He has worked hard to succeed.

    October 31, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
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