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. Sam from Ohio

    Ditka,
    Please don't give us advise on something you know nothing about.
    Keep your nose to the football and next time take Sarah with you to the games. Make sure you take a jar of honey for the bears!

    October 31, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Joe PA

    Ah what makes them think a bunch Steelers and Eagles Fan care about the former coach of the bears. And correct me if I am wrong wasn't Ditka on the Cover of SI with Ricky Williams in a wedding dress? Whats that say about his Judgement

    October 31, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Shawn_T

    did anyone hear McCain is going to be on S e N i L e on saturday?

    October 31, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. ATLian

    Easy to find a job? Spoken like a true millionaire.

    October 31, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. xcusme

    How many characters are they going to trot out. First Joe the fake plumber now the jock.

    Funny, Barack had a president stumping with him.

    Mike Ditka...wow. who's next Hommie the Clown?

    October 31, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. tylenol666

    is that the best they can come up with?

    Mike Ditka?

    Heck my Gold Fish Susie has a broader appeal!

    October 31, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. PA for Obama

    Just changed my mind about trying out that new restaurant of his...

    October 31, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. weneedstrongleadership

    I heard Arnie Parnie Scwarzaeneager will be campaining with mccain today. Well go ahead, I would be surprised if he were re-elected as governor if he does. Arnold I used to like you, I have several of your movies on DVD, but I'm going to pawn them all and keep my Sheryl Crow CD's....

    October 31, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. ark

    nothing good from McCain? at what point did he get this bad for the so called POW? the only way out for McCain is working on bringing his lost glory. it could get really bad he'll lose his wife's vote.

    Ditka stinks. he's unreal and lacks understanding of current issues – where are the jobs? they (the rich) are all looking for helper in McCain

    Good bye repub

    October 31, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. Thomas

    Wow!,
    Another angry old guy at her side !
    GO BEARS!

    October 31, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. Bob Indianapolis IN

    WOW, Ditka? Is that all you got? Sarah obviously likes to pal around with guys with anger management problems...

    October 31, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. JJ

    Poor Palin needed a 2nd Dude to go around with her since Joe the Plumber don't seem to be on time.

    October 31, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. John

    Mike Ditka has been hit in the head too many times to make and reasonable judgment. The fact that he is wealthy points to his self serving nature of I have mine, screw the rest of you. Well, I have never been a big fan of this gum throwing idiot who can't control his temper any more than McCain, they make a good pair.

    October 31, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. a sympathetic Canadian

    you biased CNN! Tabloid things like dresses and outfits of candidates are news to you, but the fact that 76 (seventy-six) US nobel laureates endorsed Obama is not worth reporting by you. SHAME!

    and of course,critical comments like this will be supressed, like most of the time, eh?

    October 31, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Jay

    Why such a big deal now?

    October 31, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Veteran for Obama

    McCain continues to allow unqualified people to comment on political issues.
    And isn't the stage getting rather full. There's the V.P. candidate with her disfunctional family parading behind her. There's Ole Hank who has live off of his father's reputation his entire life.
    There's No Show Joe who hasn't figured out yet that he is being used.
    And now here's this guy from the wide wide world of sports criticizing the folks who got locked out of the plant that just moved its production facility
    to another country.
    People are looking for jobs that ain't there. John McCain is doing the same thing. He just doesn't know it yet.

    October 31, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. Tony

    This dimwit needs all the help she can get!

    October 31, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. Peter (CA)

    Independent (yeah,right)–

    The right wing joke is as lame as the campaign. There is a difference, I gave MY $150 to Obama for his cause. I have no interest in any of it going to McCain and his campaign of lies.

    Oh, if economics were as simple as the right wingers want to pretend it is. Socialism is alive and well in this country. Not only for Wall St. banks but subsidies for oil companies and factory farms. Wealth gets spread around. The only difference is it is the Republicans only want to give it to their rich friends.

    October 31, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Perplexed

    People also seem to be throwing around the term 'socialist' without clearly understanding what it means. If welfare is considered a socialist concept, then we have been a socialist nation for decades. The concept of a progressive tax plan (people who make more money pay higher taxes) has also been in place in this country for decades. Reagan was actually a huge supporter of this concept. I think nobody would consider calling him a socialist. This idea that socialism stems from the government taking your hard-earned money and doing with it what it sees fit is rather silly too, since that is essentially what taxes are....and we have been paying taxes to a government of some kind since we were an English colony. We have not been over run by socialism in our 200+ year history of paying taxes, so I'm pretty sure a minor tweak in the current tax rates (3%) is not going to throw us over the cliff. In fact, before Bush was elected, we did not consider ourselves a socialist nation. Bush gave additional tax breaks to the very wealthy while in office. Obama wants simply to remove those additional breaks, bringing the tax rate for the very wealthy back to were it was 8 years ago. Nothing more.

    October 31, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. Undecided for Obama

    Another one bites the dust

    October 31, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. weneedstrongleadership

    Anyone here been noticing Sarah is back in her Macy's clothes, also both McCain and Palin are no longer wearing flag pins.

    October 31, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. truth hurts

    who is Dirkita, what relavence does he have in politics

    October 31, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. linda from South Dakota

    mccain and palin are into this man for his money,, cos they are runnin low,,, theres no way this man truely supports mccain/palin,,, and if he doesmm its a pay-off,, trust me,, mccain will and does do anything to get what he wants,,,,,,, hes no canidaite for president,, and plain?...lol,, no way ever,,, she needs to take care of her business backin alaska,,,,, obama/biden, 08 and 12

    October 31, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. Dave

    Ditka should have run for president. In an election between Ditka and Obama who would win.

    Ditka- 538 electoral votes, Obama- 0

    polish sausage.....Ditka.......Ditka.......Bears......Ditka

    October 31, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. Tom in S.A.

    Sure are a lot of people screaming about the 700,000 laid off workers, gee I wonder how all those people got jobs, oh yea, it was under GW's watch. As a matter of fact no one is talking about how many jobs were created the last 8 years, just the lost ones, real good MSM for ya.

    October 31, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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