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. CanIcallyouJoe

    Wow, because when you want intelligence, you obviously look to professional sports. It's pretty obvious all professional athletes are top ranking Mensa members, and their coaches commonly debate sociopolitical issues on a world stage.

    Wait, no. Professional Athletes are people who get money because they can hit something with another thing or run faster than other people. They do not know the meaning of money and do not have real jobs. They are our entertainment. They exist to give us a split second of entertainment. Period.

    So what does it say when a former wrangler of these neanderthals supports one politician over another and actually has the gall to run for Senate?

    It's pretty clear.

    October 31, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Joe M

    What a "doofus"!

    October 31, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. 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?

    Don't care what either of these fools have to say!

    October 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. SoCal

    Even my dog can't stand the tone in this woman's voice anymore... (maybe becuase of the pitbull underneath the lipstick?)

    October 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. dan

    everyone was asking da coach to run back 2006 but da coach was scared to run against the future Preident. da coach was pathertic in new orleans as he would be in politics

    October 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. We Can Do It

    We've had a tradition of voting a certain way because we're a red state or a blue state. Break the mold, vote smart. Do what's best for the country, no matter what color.

    I love a fresh start, and if any place needs a fresh start, it's America. Our country is getting old, and the world is catching up to the greatest democracy ever. We need to revamp and come back big. We can do it, we're Americans. New roads, new technology, new jobs. Kennedy said we should reach for the moon. Let's reach beyond the moon with an Obama administration.

    Obama/Biden Whoohooooo!!!!

    October 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. curtis

    I notice that the Red areas on the poll maps are not very close to any higher education. Coincidence?

    October 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. doing whats right

    "Single Mom In TX"
    you just said it best, but when people are so full of hate they dont care nore do they want to open there eyes up to the BIG picture that 95% of american's are facing how to survive ...they would rather be broke for life with just enough to buy a pack of Newports and a case of pepsi then to have a lil extra on there paycheck to take home each week or Bi-weekly to pay there bills to afford to help with there childrens education so they can get a better job in there future , but since this change of direction that america needs is coming from some1 with a brain that see's that is a Black man for 1 and is not of there party .. they would rather be broke as long as the rich stay rich because we all know they need a tax break .. lord help them if they have to pay an extra 3% .. with that they can only buy a BMW not a Bently.. and thats not right ...lol....

    October 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Ken in NC

    Think about this. On January 20, 2009, Senator McCain will be able to look at THAT ONE and say good morning MR PRESIDENT to President Obama.

    Of course Baracudda Barbie could read about it in Alaska if she knew how to read the Anchorage news paper.

    October 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |

    An other loud mouth joke. I guess those are the only people who will show up on the stage with Palin and McCain. I never seen anyone of real political importance rallying for him, it is always some flunky like Joe the Plumber and Tito the whatever. No wonder McCain is behind in every poll, he can't even find support from a national political figure.

    October 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. karen-phoenix

    Ditka is on the side of the extreme right wing and extremely wealthy!!!
    Ditka should be backing Obama if he would go back to his roots.
    I live in AZ, a registered republican and am getting some of the vilest robo calls anyone could imagine!!! This republican is voting for Obama and the republican party has pushed me to it. Obama said something last night in MO–WE do not need bigger government or smaller government–WE need smarter government!!! I sick of the uneducated running this country. Clinton was a Rhoads and Obama is a Magnum Cum Laudi. Best of the Best!!!

    October 31, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Dallas, TX

    This race is NOT over even though the liberal media like CNN want to you think so!!

    So CNN, how come you are not reporting on Obama camp scaling back it's Change the World policy? Bring the voters expectation down a few notches after they get their vote!

    Hmmm, smells like change to me, change in the wrong direction!!

    October 31, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Richard

    What John MCcain just pick-up his Halloween Mask and its MIKE DITKA.....Happy Halloween Folks... mask or not ....GO VOTE!!!

    October 31, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. Allan G.

    Just love the hate from you sheeple. Obamas going to turn on you guys big time. Don't care much for McCain...but at least I know who he really is. Anyway Mike's right

    October 31, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. steph from canada

    well, maybe it is an effort to make sarah palin look good... they need to surround her with people who are less intelligent than she is???

    October 31, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Texas for Obama

    One thing I've noticed about these celebrity endorsements is that Obama gets criticized every time he gets one and McCain does not.

    What's even more remarkable is the fact that most celebrities (who are supposed to be evil and selfish according to the GOP) are willing to pay higher taxes under an Obama administration to keep the country afloat. That doesn't sound selfish to me.

    Obama / Biden 08!

    October 31, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. Nate

    McCain and Palin have Hank Williams and Mike Ditka in their corner. Obama and Biden have Oprah, DeNiro, The Boss, Chris Rock, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Eddie Vedder, Warren Buffet, the Beastie Boys, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder... we could go on all day. They all back Barack because of his policies, demeanor, wisdom, integrity and strength.

    Forget partisanship and vote your conscious.

    October 31, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Dan the Voter

    Ok...so if "Real Americans" are not looking for handouts, I guess all those individuals in Alaska, who received a check from Sara and the oil companies, will return their checks. I doubt you'll get one "real American" to do it.

    The hypocrisy is overwhelming.

    October 31, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Coda

    The only weight Ditka pulls is in Chicago....and sorry to say Obama may win Cook County...That said, I'm shocked Ditka would diss a fellow Chicagoan...Poor move

    October 31, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. joycelyn

    so it's okay for the Repugs to use celebs but critize Obama for doing the same? Hypocrisy at it's best.

    OBIDEN 08

    October 31, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. slickingdom

    Does Mike Ditka really know anything about politics ? Probably not.
    I think he has the hots for Sarah !! She'll probably do him like she did
    Todd's business partner !!

    October 31, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. Chipster

    I love it when some filthy rich guy talks down to working people and tell them, "If you’re willing to work, you can find a job." If the NFL closes its doors, where would football coaches find a job? I'm sure some of them could but when auto plants lay off thousands of people, American Express lays off 7,000 people at one time, and this is happening all across the country....don't talk down to the working people who are struggling to make ends meet.

    Ditka – talk to me again when you're trying to feed a family of 4 on a sales clerk's pay! How out of touch can Republicans be?

    October 31, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Carlos Hodges

    OK...let's not mix the facts here.

    Mike Ditka played a huge part in the superbowl victory for your Chicago Bears. He is and will always be remembered and respected for this accomplishment.

    Like people all over the world, Mike has a right to his opinion and if he wants to push the McCain/Palin ticket, more power to him. However, when you hit the trail Mike, please be honest with the things you speak about and please don't belittle yourself repeating the same lies that have been spoken bu the McCain/Palin campaign.

    That aside, I personally would love to see "da coach" back on the sideline doing what he does best.


    October 31, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. Reagan

    Look at the people rallying for McCain/Palin vs. Obama/Biden.

    Real Americans, with realistic values and goals for McCain.

    Over rated celebrities with too much money and too little brains for Obama.

    October 31, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Dawn

    To scare everyone....to all the wiccan/pagans Happy New years, (Celtic) Happy Halloween (Samhain, pronounced sowan)...

    The Terminator is coming to tear you apart, Sarah?

    Remember Arnie is married to a Kennedy! Loyalty divided!

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    October 31, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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