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. Chip

    Take a look at your pay statements. The government takes more in income tax, FICA and Medicare each month than I pay for my mortgage, food for a family of four, and my electric bill. Plus, there is enough money left over to make a car payment (which I no longer have) or my phone, internet, and cable bills and still have money left over. With the left over money, I could pad my savings or give it to charity or "stimulate the economy." Heck, I could possibly put some into the stock market and push the DOW higher.

    The reason jobs have left are not because of Bush's tax cuts. It's because the US has the second highest corporate tax in the developed world. So, go ahead, punish those big corporations even more by sticking to them with more taxes. Go ahead and unionize your shop so labor costs drive the price of American built goods through the roof so that the "union stewards" can line their pockets and support a political agenda while they watch their unionites' jobs go somewhere else.

    Ireland instituted a consumption tax and lowered their corporate tax rates and the economy has boomed.

    A large contributing factor to why we are in the mess we are in now is legislation that forced banks to make risky loans in the name of fairness. Now those chickens, are coming home...TO ROOST!

    You can thank folks like ACORN, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd (along with many others on both sides o fthe aisle).

    October 31, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Dianne

    Be very careful, Mike, or Sarah might fire you!
    And for the record, yes America is the land of opportunity, but the real deal is about who you are and who you know! Been there, done that.

    October 31, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. Amy

    Dear "Scott Tucson", you've accused Obama of everything from "unameican" ,"scocialist", terrorist, even the big C "communist"...it has not worked.

    This is all code for "he's not like us", "he does not LOOK American", and you know...the other thing...I know 'cause my Dad uses all these words and sentiments to mask his real fear...Obama's race.

    If a white man with the exact same qualifications (of lack there of), background, etc., was running, John McCain would have already conceded...that's how far ahead that candidate would have been....

    He WILL win. Now consider this...is Pailin "unamerican" because she and her husband "pal" around with sessesionists? I'd say "yes"....Is McCain "unamerican because he's close friends with the American terrorist Liddy?...look please we can go on and on...

    October 31, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. jt

    If McCain is a real American Hero then he'll vote for Obama,

    October 31, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. Tom, Maine

    Let's all stop supporting Republican businesses. They only stab you in
    the back in return. Then when they go broke and need another wall
    street bailout(rich socialism), they will drop the phony fascist rhetoric.

    October 31, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Maggie from Virginia

    Yesterday a stranger asked me who I was voting for. I hesitantly replied Obama, fearful of what came next (I live in a very confederate loving town). This person told me that he is a life time republican that voted for McCain in 2000. He said McCain is not the same man he thought he knew. Here's a republican proudly voting for Obama. He drove off chanting Obama – Obama – Obama.

    Never again will I let fear stand in the way of my support of Obama.

    Obama – Obama – Obama

    October 31, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Joe

    Obama is a piece of excrement!!! He kicks journalist off his plane from papers who dont support him. This guy is supposed to be the great uniter, try the great divider and he voted party lines much more than McCain. Vote McCain 2008 for a true non partisan president!!

    October 31, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. arche

    You know what really 'grinds my gears'?

    "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."

    Why add the "which I am" part? Then you obviously ARE THERE if you are a republican and a conservative.
    A Lame one at that. .... which you are.

    October 31, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Whatever

    As an african american, I guess I have always given Republicans more credit than they deserved. I thought they were educated people or at least they were in the past. Not that Democrats are uneducated, but the "new" Republicans who are attracted to Palin appear to be uneducated people of low income and no internet access to reasearch issues and also no access to television.

    October 31, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. Greg in MN

    Go and have another sausage Ditka. You have no power when it comes to politics.

    October 31, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |

    about the absentee ballots, why would people wait until oct 31, to say they haven't recieved their ballots? If you want to be apart of the voting process you have to demeand your rights. Stop calling these people and drive down there and demand they give you an answer about your ballots. This makes no sense too me. I have registered to vote years ago and when I moved I handled my business in the state that I moved to. This year I have checked and called to make sure I'm still registered and that there is no trickery. My daughter 19 years old first time voting she isn't playing either. This voting has to be life or death for every elligible voter wake up AMERICA and get off the excuses and demand your vote count. I sure in the hell will be on Nov 4th rain or shine if it is 10 hour lines damm it they will be castin by all democratic ballot.

    October 31, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. gl, Pittsburgh

    Mike Ditka, Joe the Plumber vs. Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, The Gore Family, Colin Powell….you make the choice!


    October 31, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  13. Truth

    Hey come on RNC!
    Ex presidentsvice president are campaigning for Obama.
    Where are the current president/vice-president?
    In case people forget, I would like to remind them that our current president is George W. Bush and vice-president is Dick Chenny. They should come out and campaign for McCain.

    October 31, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  14. Ed-Seatown

    Let's see... Obama was recently endorsed by Colin Powell and now is stumping with Bill Clinton and Al Gore. McCain/Palin has Mike Ditka. Mike Ditka??? HaHa Ha Ha!! WOW!! I must say, Ditka is extremely IRRELEVANT!

    By the way, did you see all those little kids that were bused in to see McCain's rally in Defiance, Ohio. Talk about desperation! Using kids (who can't vote) to fill the "seats" for his rally to make it appear that there are people interested in what he has to say. What a joke!!

    October 31, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. Annie, Atlanta

    JuTon – I second that. Except you forgot Joe Six Pack and Tito the Builder on the McCain side! What a circus.

    October 31, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Will the Real Maverick Please Stand Up?

    “This is the land of opportunity,” Ditka 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.”

    Over 700,000 jobs lost this year. More and more companies cutting thousands of jobs every day and this CLOWN has the nerve to lecture people on finding a job?

    Utterly ridiculous and condescending. He should be ashamed of himself...but look who he's campaigning for. Patronising fool.

    Ditka–go and get measured for your clown shoes. That should be easy seeing as Palin/McCain have so many pairs of their own.

    October 31, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. Greg M.

    Introducing( drum roll) the three pumpkin heads for halloween SarahPalin, John McCain and Cindy McShame McCain. Happy halloween to all of the Witches. Go away and never come back na ya hear, He Haw!! Palin, dick, cain and Cin want a bud, all of you must be drunk.

    Win Obama Win 08........................................................................

    October 31, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Educated Young Republicans for OBAMA






    October 31, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. Get Real

    I am amazed was this not the party and the candidates who jumped and yelled at the tree tops about the "Celebrity" factor with Obamas campaign. Now they are bringing in all the Celebs. If you are going to complain and tell everyone how wrong something is.... why then go out and do it???? HYPOCRITICAL much. Shouldn't surprise me their whole campaign has been hypocritical. They are in no way ready to lead this country.


    October 31, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. Bill in DC

    Hmmm...Ditka. Isn't he the same guy thaat traded six draft picks for Ricky Williams and then spent the rest of the draft fishin'?

    October 31, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. Chi4Obama

    The thought alone that Sarah Palin can be one bad heartbeat away from the Presidency, should be enough to scare even the most racist of Americans into voting for Obama.

    Think about it, Sarah Palin could actually be the leader of the free world one day.

    Now that is DANGEROUS!!!

    Barack the Vote (early if your state allows).

    October 31, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. vahe

    palin should go back home

    October 31, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Soccer mom from Canada

    As opposed to those lazy, un-American, nonsense people?
    These people have based their campaign on dividing Americans. They are sabotaging unity when it is most needed. This should never be forgotten. Regardless of the outcome on Nov. 4th their tactics will have damaged Americans ability to work together.

    October 31, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. Dennis

    Ditka is just telling it like it is. Stop drinking the Obama koolaid and WAKE UP America. Those of you that question Palin's experience prove that point. Obama has ZERO experience. The minute he got into public office he started running for president. He's a marketing campaign; The Maytag Repairman; The Pillsbury Doughboy; Tony the Tiger. No sunstance.

    October 31, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. onelove

    Yet another reason McCain is behind. Does he ever consider who represents him?

    And Joe the Plumber...this was a joke from the start and McCain is pandering this guy to America. This is not Presidential at all.

    I actually know a few plumbers and they don't earn 250k a year. Why is America even listening to John McCain and all of his side kicks anymore.

    October 31, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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