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. Dr. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    REMEMBER 2000 !!!!!




    October 31, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Sue in MI

    Mike hasn't been to Michigan lately...talk to the displaced autoworkers who had health coverage, good salaries...if they go work minimum wage, which mcCain is always against raising, they will be working and still losing their homes. I'm glad Palin has her government coverage for her clan, but many are not so fortunate, and by the way, isn't the government "buying up mortgages" socialist?

    October 31, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. Paul

    As Barack has said before, you have to question someone's judgement who would give the ball to the Fridge on the goalline instead of the Sweetness.

    October 31, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. RS

    Ditka, you're an idiot. Just don't throw your chewed gum at someone if they say something you don't like....

    October 31, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    First Joe the plumber, now Mike (No dignity) Ditka! Looks like the McLame/Failin campaign is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic!

    Even he, Ditka, can't save this shipwreck to be!

    Meanwhile, Obama just sails on toward victory!

    Make it happen! VOTE!!

    October 31, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. Josh

    Ditka was a decent coach.

    Obama / Biden 08

    October 31, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. oh no


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

    Good point, except the "plumber" really isn't a plumber..... more like Joe the wannabe Plumber/congressman/singer.....etc.

    October 31, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. Suzanne, IN

    I like Mike, but I disagree. Obama is the best man for the job and he will be the next president. I really like how he is for ALL of the people, not just some. Sarah and McCain are so divisive. We've had that for 8 years, and we're just tired. Can't we all just get along? Really.

    October 31, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. v 123

    Obama he stupid

    October 31, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. NO-BAMA

    DA BEARS !!!!

    McCain/Palin 2008 !

    October 31, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Random Dude


    Powell was deliberately led the wrong way by the clown prince dubya and cheney. He was just doing was dubya 'ordered' him to do. And he believed the president.

    It was dubya and his cronies who let Powell down

    October 31, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. use your head

    Well, the Bears did when a Super bowl with him as coach, but only got one, when they should have won 2 or 3, and besides the real winning Mike from Chicago, wore number 23 and won 6 titles, guess who he supports

    October 31, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. the other jd

    Ain't gonna be the first time Ditka's team lost.

    October 31, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. Ryan

    What a shocker! Ditka is rich. McCain and Palin's policies would help him.

    October 31, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Rob

    Even 'Da Coach' knows that Barry is not the man for 'Da Job'

    Note to all you Obamaholics: Mike Ditka was one of the greatest coaches in professional football. You're probably not aware of what that is, as it involves hitting and in a sense battle, which goes against your namby-pamby world view of peace. No, Ditka didn't win football games by going over and talking with the opposing coach 'without pre-conditions'. Just like you can't defeat our enemies by going over and talking to them 'without pre-conditions'. But then, you'd have no idea how to win a battle anyways since all you ever want to do is cut and run.

    October 31, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Eugene

    So what are no-nonsense folks doing listening to a woman from Alaska who has quite a challenge with the truth?

    October 31, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Kay

    As a person who lived in New Orleans during Mike Ditka's coaching days, let me just say he is clueless. He couldn't coach a football team so why would I listen to him now. He reminds me of Geroge Bush...it's his way and only his way. Do we need another 4 years of the same after the last 8 years? I don't know about anyone else but I can't afford it.


    October 31, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. thomas

    Santa Clause is a Socialist. Why doesn't Sarah palin like Santa Clause?

    October 31, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. Carol

    Let's see, Obama has Bill Clinton campaigning for him, a man who presided over some of the best economic times we have had in decades as well as the largest reduction in welfare cases in history along and Colin Powell.

    Who do McCain and Palin have, Ditka and Joe the tax evading fake plumber.

    October 31, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. david thomas

    What planet has Ditka been living on these past several years?

    Isn't Mike Ditka the same guy that would not let Walter Patton score a touchdown in a runaway SuperBowl? We learned about him long ago.

    October 31, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. Deb

    Okay America, Obama campaigns with Hillary and Bill Clinton, Governors and Al Gore. McSame and Palin campaign with Joe the Plumber and Mike Ditka. Who makes more sense? Let us wake up America. Our country is in peril. Our futures and our children's futures are in peril. Let us do the right thing and vote Obama/Biden.

    October 31, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. Tony

    With Ditka and Da Bears on the McCain/Palin side they'll surely win!

    October 31, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Trasa, Texas

    Just saw an article that McBush says President Bush and Obama campaign not doing enough for homeowners.

    And I would say to you Senator, what are you doing because it's exactly the same thing..NOTHING?

    October 31, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. Linda32

    Noah, yes and one of those secretary of state, Eagleburger, said "of course she (Palin) is not ready"

    October 31, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. tonyP

    what does it say about political free speech when it’s okay to hang Palin in effigy, but a hate crime to do the same to Obama?

    October 31, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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