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. Joe Regis

    That is not going to fix the mess that we are in thanks to the repubs administration.

    By the way, I think it would be a mistake for McCain to ignore Arizona, a tactical mistake indeed, because the polls have been going up in favor of Obama. Unless he goes back to Arizona, he will lose it to the Democrats for a change.

    October 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. tren

    Mike Ditka has a lot to learn about the job market. My wife been looking for a job for four months with multiple interveiws every week and still is not hired. Either the job is a scam, she is not qualified, or they are just taking applications. She will eventually get a job but it ain't easy!

    October 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. greedyboy

    As many before me has declared...who cares?

    October 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. a southern bell

    WOW !!!!

    CAN THEY SEE RUSSIA FROM THERE ?

    AND DITKA IS A REAL AMERICAN, AS APPOSED TO

    THE REST OF US ? I DIDN'T KNOW THAT EITHER !!!!

    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD BE OUTRAGED &

    INSULTED BY THE MCSHAME CAMPAIGN & MOOSEBARBY.

    October 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  5. Ken in Dallas

    Now why does Ditka's opinion on politics matter?

    Oh, yeah, he's a Football Hero, so he must be an expert on everything. Whoopee.

    Much like the way McCain being a POW qualifies him to lead the nation.

    "Friends, fellow prisoners, and countrymen..." how inspiring?

    October 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Doug R.

    Mike Ditka is a washed up dinosaur who is way way past his prime. He's like a prostitute. Go ahead Ditkus, support the lying, cheating, out of touch losers if that makes you feel more secure.

    October 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. jeremy - tx

    It's all about perspective.
    Mike ditka endorses McPalin.
    Warren Buffett endorses Obama.

    Not exactly sure how Ditka is relavent when it comes to the issue of Wall Street vs. Main Street.

    October 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. eds

    When I was a kid we used to howl at how dumb Mike Ditka sounded while watching football.
    Sounds dumb now, but what a good match up with Palin...

    And he has anger mangagement issues like McCain....

    Good pick. Sure that'll win you some votes (not) ooops. Guess Joe got fired!
    LOL.

    October 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. Vickie

    Ditka!

    Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!

    October 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Ya that'll pull in the votes.... Barbie and the football

    October 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. Penny

    Well, I guess when you can't get leaders of your political party to campaign for you (or you don't dare ask them because they are so unpopular) then you go get plumbers, the VP's babies, and sports identities...........sigh

    October 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. Nancy

    By the way, that's why he was fired from the bears, he is so not welcome back to Chicago!

    October 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. AZ Lauren

    Weren't any qualified political figures from Chicago available???? Oh, that's right! THEY SUPPORT OBAMA!

    Like anybody cares what Ditka, Joe the Plumber, Tito the builder or Sarah Palin have to say. It's a circus sideshow with McCain as the ringmaster.

    What a joke!

    October 31, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. Mike

    Always what I wanted to see, a violent tempered coach telling us how to vote. Guess people forgot how well they had it in the Clinton years, and prefer to be poor and losing their homes! Sorry, I rather have Democrates then Republicans running the government any day!

    October 31, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. Will the Real Maverick Please Stand Up?

    Turnabout is fair play–loved your comment!! Couldn't agree more.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 31, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. j

    Why is it that the so called "liberal" media never ask what Obama can do to widen his lead? They always ask how McCain can catch up. Sounds pretty pro-McCain to me. McCain/Palin are winning on smear & fear, deception, and outright lies rather than valid substance. If you're in favor of more deficit spending and tax cuts for the wealthy, then vote for McCain/Palin. On the other hand, if you'd like someone with vision that can lead this country in a new direction then vote for Obama/Biden – Hope, Unity, Progressive Change. Statistically, the country always does better economically with a Democrat in the White House. Obama is a uniter. Obama supporters – VOTE as if your future depended on it! VOTE for Obama! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

    October 31, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. becky in Ohio

    Here in Ohio jobs are scarce. I know couples where one spouse has been laid off and the other is hanging on to his/her job for dear life.
    These are NOT lazy people. The attitude of Mike Ditka does not surprise me, though, he is a Republican. What are our friends to do, sell their house and try to move somewhere else to both find jobs? They can't sell their house – no one is buying. What are they to do?
    Kiss my butt, Ditka – people in Ohio are NOT lazy – we are JOBLESS!

    October 31, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. M. WINNERS

    Ditka's original quote...

    "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 – An uniformed, radical neocon, pandering American that is clueless on what this country needs to recover" – Mike Ditka

    Get out and VOTE America, Obama needs your vote to offset the tactics the repugliCONs are using at the polls to steal this election...

    October 31, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. Jesus Praising, Freedom Loving American Patriot

    PALIN IS A CELEBRITY!

    October 31, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. lbv

    I'm not suprised that an outdated, has-been from the football world would support a outdated has-been in the political world. Neither one of them has had a new, original or good idea in decades.

    October 31, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Salt

    Ditka is voting for McCain!? Well THAT changes EVERYTHING then!!!

    Seriously...who the hell cares? It's laughable that people keep pointing fingers at Obama for being all rock starry when it's the McShame camp that continues to tote out the D-List celebrities.

    October 31, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Sarah P

    GOP tried to get Dikta to run against Obama for the Senate Race, but he refussed...and look where he is at now. I bet the GOP saw the potenial for greatness Obama had early and have been afraid him since....meet your maker GOP!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  23. Maria

    Ladies & Gentlemen, we have on the campaign stump . . .

    In the RED Corner . . .
    John McCain, Sarah Palin, Joe the Plumber, Joe Six-Pack, Mike Ditka

    In the BLUE Corner . . .
    Barack Obama, Joe & Jill Biden, Bill & Hillary Clinton, Al & Tipper Gore

    October 31, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  24. ken

    I will take the word of Joe the Plumber over Colin Powell any day. At least he is speaking from the heart and did not sought out Obama. Colin Powell is now politically Motivated to seek out Obama.

    October 31, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    We don't want your wealth, we want you to pay your fair share of taxes!
    Your wealth is probably as dirty as some of you.
    We down here are mad as hell and we are not going to take it any more! Where are our freaking loopholes?Where are all these jobs you keep spouting about? Even on minimum wage we have to pay taxes for our entire income. Figure it out and then tell me you could feed, clothe and shelter a family on that?
    The state of Denial is the biggest state in America.

    October 31, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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