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. ken

    Why awaiting Communist News Network (CNN) when others posted after mine have been accepted?? Are you waiting till it moves out of sight with the thought that noone will read it. Freedom of Speech 1984 OBAMA

    October 31, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Melvin

    She is not ready to lead if something to McCain. She is making
    attacks against Obama and she do not know him. He have not
    attack her personally. This is dirty of her party to go on these ugly
    attacks which Obama grandmother have to listen to on TV. He
    or his party have nothing hurt her family or McCain family. This
    sad they they do this in a fair way,McCain said he will not have a
    dirty general election,but he lied as well. Tom Delay, was very
    ugly as well,Obama have not said anything about him, Just the
    party being ugly when their is nothing good to about the issues.

    October 31, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Dumb and Dumber on the trail!

    October 31, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. nightshade

    Very strong contrast on who goes on the stage with the candidates :D.

    October 31, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Charla in TX


    OH HOW I MISS CHRIS FARLEY..................


    October 31, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. stacey

    haha, Smart move to have Palin, you gotta vote for someone pretty...=]]
    just kidding

    October 31, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Miller, IA

    Can CNN ever post one of my comments?

    What does Ditka know about getting job. He thinks that everyone that is unemployed just sits at home not trying to find a job, guess he doesn't know what it's like. Doesn't know that to keep getting unemployment benefits you have to attempt to find a job, and that more jobs are being cut then are being created. Not to mention all the illegal immigrants taking some of our jobs. There businesses in SE Iowa cutting jobs everyday, maybe he should create some jobs with all his money. Oh yeah that's right that would be spreading his wealth around and we all know what he tries to do with his money, using his chariteis money for his own personal gain, The repubs really know how to pick them. Obama may serve on committees with some people, but McCain gives them the money.

    October 31, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Demorat to the bone

    Prepare for a avelaunche on Tuesday. Obama all the way.

    October 31, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Annette

    What happen to McCain fellow colleagues in the party? How come I don't see Rumsfeld, Cheney, the President, and list goes on?

    October 31, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  10. brian

    What does it say about the McCain campaign when they constantly need to bring "special apperances" people...

    October 31, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. kaz

    Sara Palin than Jo "The Plumber" and now Mike Dikta, what is next ?

    October 31, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Joseph, Los Angeles

    When I saw that caption I had to click on it, I thought, wow Mike Ditka; gotta see what he has to say. Gee Whee CNN, what are you doing?

    Go out and Vote!
    Obama/Biden 08

    October 31, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. A Unified Nation - Reaching out Beyond Ideology

    As much as I admire Ditka's on-field accomplishments and foreys into entertainment, I am not going to rely on a multi-millionaire football jock to tell me what's in my best interests.

    Alaska can be "socialist" like Venezuela's Chavez, because it HAS excess oil revenues... McCain is CLUELESS on the foreclosure plan, because there ARE NO models to give "fair" value to mortgages when no valuation can be done with a market in freefall. This pair is SO FULL of contradictions, the only Party with a record of economic success that ties security into international markets are the Dems in the last 25 years.

    Let's rid Wash, DC of lobbyists who draft legislation and work for "special Presidential advisors" (see Cheney and Rove and Bush). We need to clean house and start with rational thinking, realism, and a long-term horizon that offers hope: We need Obama/Biden. It is going to take 25 years to undo the Bush/Cheney damage, but Obama is the right man to start the job.

    October 31, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. lm, texas

    do you people realize that the celebrities in hollywood support obama? i'm pretty sure there are a lot of wealthy democrats who support obama. the republican party is made up of HARD workers who do not accept handouts. Hard work build a little character!!! I am not about to give my country over to a man to be in charge of our wealth. I want the freedom and liberty to succeed on my own with my hard work!!! Mike Ditka obviously understands that. His hard work paid off. He didn't get to where he was from handouts!!!

    October 31, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. Andy

    It is pathetic that "Joe the Plumber" has become McCain campaign's foreign policy and economic advisor. The campaign comes across like its not McCain but Joe the Plumber running against Obama. They bring common people to represent, but most of their agenda is favoring rich getting richer.

    October 31, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. ekk

    If you pay close attention to what both sides are talking about- it would be clear who to vote for: I am Independent and I plan to vote for a winning Team -Obama/Biden

    October 31, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. IA Voter

    Ditka is a hack. He couldn't even keep his QB under his grasp. Eat another hot dog mike & watch the show....

    October 31, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. Matt

    Helmets weren't as effective back then as they are now.

    October 31, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Stupid is as stupid does

    Mike Ditka? I thought he was dead. Can you be any more desperate. Obama gets support from A-list people. McCain is scraping the bottom.

    October 31, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. P.J.

    First John McCain claims the economy is fundamentally sound. Then Mike Ditka and Sarah Palin tell us people who don't have jobs are simply too lazy to go look for work. Out of touch doesn't believe to describe this crew.

    October 31, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. ken

    CNN, Ignore MCCAIN supporters as you do and figure we will just go away but our voices will be heard November 4th and than it will be you who is scrambling and pointing fingers. Just don't incite riots with more rhetoric. The NO BIAS and NO BULL is in your hands

    October 31, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Nothing here folks – move on.

    McWarmonger and Caribou Barbie just bad-mouthing the workers that lost their jobs, and trashing Obama.

    What are their policies? Where are her medical records? Where is John's military history? Songbird failed his test in NAM. I don't think he should get do-overs by sending our kids into IRAN

    Voted early for Obama/Biden – for ALL OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

    October 31, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. BS not Maverick

    Thats what happens in football, you get your brains knocked out, and you do stupid stuff that makes people think twice as to why they hired you to do ESPN.

    October 31, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. John McCain is a LIAR

    Senator McCain you are no hero, you are in fact a terrorist.

    Your campaign advisor & "Transition Chief" William Timmons was a Saddam Hussein lobbyist for 5 years.
    You pal around with Gordon Liddy, domestic terrorist.
    You are a member of "The Project for a New American Century" – a radical extremist terrorist organization.
    Your VP candidate's husband Todd Palin is a domestic terrorist in the Alaskan Independence Party.
    You accuse Obama of knowing Rashid Khalidi, yet you yourself have given Rashid Khalidi & the PLO $500,000.00!!! So by your logic, if Obama is a terrorist sympathizer like you claim, then you Senator McCain are a state spronsor of terrorism. You are, by your own twisted logic, a terrorist by your own admittance.
    You have met with Chilean Dictator Pinochet, a terrorist.
    You're coordinated effort to use FOX NEWS, the Bush Administration, your campaign, Sarah Palin, and The Justice Department to commit voter fraud, voter intimidation, & voter suppression is an act of terrorism.

    John McCain you are a disgrace to your uniform & to your country.

    October 31, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. lm, texas

    you talk about how mccain has talked bad about Obama. all i see is hypocracy. if someone doesn't aggree with you all you do is beat them down and talk about how stupid they are. how smart are you not to see that?

    October 31, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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