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. jon mattson

    Sarah Palin is a twit and that's it.

    October 31, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Just Me In WV

    Wonder why he didnt hit the trail with McCain? After all McCain is the top of the ticket.

    October 31, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. values

    Another clown. What happened to Joe and Tito........HA,HA,HA,HA,.....

    October 31, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    oooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!Mike Ditka supports McCain Palin ! wow, that will really turn the tide !!! Obama/Biden 08,,,I've already voted for the DEM. ticket,I'm proud of it, I have no regrets.

    October 31, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Jano1234

    Are you nuts, lindapuma???? What are you talking about?

    October 31, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. Karen, Arkansas

    Mike Ditka was hit in the head once too many times when he played football. Another gimmick for McSame and Failin....

    October 31, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. indy chris

    Not if all the jobs are shipped overseas.

    Or if you're an incompetent, coddled, rich-kid frat boy (like bush and maccain) you can have careers handed to you on a silver platter by your elite daddy and/or wealthy mistress.

    October 31, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. Brad

    Now that "Joe the Plumber" has a publicity team, maybe there'll be a Palin & Joe the Plumber ticket in 2012....

    October 31, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. What a joke

    Yeah. So people get laid off from factories or offices making good wages and benefits.
    So they find jobs flipping burgers at McD's.

    That's the America that Ditka sees.

    October 31, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. Pam

    McCain would have better off picking Ditka than Palin.

    October 31, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. Tammy

    Ditka you disappoint me.

    A Bears Fan

    October 31, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. S Callahan

    Ditka,Ditka, Ditka....
    perhaps you haven't heard...Obama intends to 'create' jobs for the hundreds of thousands out of work so they won't need a handout...
    perhaps you forgot this administration (Bush) left many people desitute.....

    Oh Ditka.....i'm so heartbroken you didn't hear...

    October 31, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. Darlene D

    Iron Mike...your talents would be better served by coming back to Chicago to coach the Bears.

    October 31, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. Alabama Voter

    WOW! We get Powell, and they get Ditka.

    October 31, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. MIKE FROM CALGARY

    Mike Dittka ... now he's not the former Secretary of State and General in Iraq War 1 .... oh , that's Colin Powell. Ditka led the Chicago Bears. Right!

    October 31, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. Daniel

    I don't know why the GOP persists in this dog and pony show. The last 8 years were a setup for this election. The American public is so desperate and fearful that they refuse to read the writing on the wall about Obama...but that's the way you all planned it from the beginning.

    October 31, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. the typical uninformed

    sounds like the typical "low information voter" to me.

    keep putting your head in the sand – that way you don't have to admit or confront anything.

    ignorance is not always bliss

    the last eight years has proved that

    October 31, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. 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.

    Barack the Vote (early if your state allows).

    October 31, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. Glenn Doty, Columbia, SC

    Why would that help the McCain team in Western PA?

    My family is from Western PA... They say prayers for the Steelers at church, and let out early to make sure everyone gets home in time to catch the game.

    If there was more than 3 Chicago Bears fans in Western PA, I'd be shocked.

    Other than be able to coach a football team, what relevence does ditka have to anyone or anything... Vote for McCain if you want a president who gets ideas about governance from a football coach?

    What are they doing?

    October 31, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. V.K

    No one is talking about handouts here. The republicans have converted this land of opportunity into land of scarcity from jobs to credit. I would like Ditka to find jobs for autoworkers in Flint who lost their jobs or people who lose their jobs because of outsourcing.

    Have Sarah Palin and Ditka lost their jobs and wondered how to balance their monthly budget?

    Republican talk is all bravado with no substance...

    October 31, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. PA Republican for Obama

    Ditka, you should stick to a topic you are good at...football. Thanks.

    Palin, you should stick to a topic you are good at........

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 31, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. JPR

    What ever happened to the medical records that were supposed to be released on a certain candidate this week? Do you think there is something being kept from us? We need to know...

    October 31, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. John from White Plains, NY

    So what? What has he done since the Bears won the Super Bowl?

    Zero, Zilch, Nada....the same components on Palin's qualifications to be VP...Zero, Zilch, Nada

    Yo betcha ya!!!

    October 31, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. Commonwealth of Virginia

    And what political signifigance does Ditka bring to the ticket......NONE.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 31, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. bryce beamish

    Note to Sarah Palin: I don't care what sports star or televison celebrity or hokey country musician shares the stage with you. You're running for Vice President. It's not a disney movie.

    October 31, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
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