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. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Oh, Lord, he can't complete a sentence (check him out in his "professional role" as a sportscaster, he get so into he just rambles along) and she can only complete those sentences that her "handlers" have programmed into her. These two must be sharing the brain chip.

    October 31, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. Joe Ward

    Yes of course a lot of people can find a job. But what KIND of job. A job making minimum wage with no health benefits? Nice try Ditka. You don't remember what it is like to struggle.

    October 31, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Art

    Obama is a made for TV politician. He is smooth and polished and has glitz and glamour.
    America needs a leader with more substance. We need a leader we can trust. We need someone who believes in the American ideals and the principles on which this country was founded.
    Vote substance over style!

    October 31, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. Kelly

    I guess it just proves the old adage, it takes a half wit to know a half wit...
    Ditka is an abusive, alcoholic moron who can think his way out of a wet paper bag. The doltish, low-brow, right-wing nuts can HAVE him.

    October 31, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. William

    Another Dumbo joins the circus!

    October 31, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. james

    Wonder what tax bracket he is in ????????

    October 31, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. Ryan, Chicago, IL

    Hey Coach, as a Bears fan, I gotta love you and respect you. But guess what? You want to talk about change? The Bears made a change and have Lovie Smith as their head coach and do you know who he backs?

    Yep, Barack Obama.

    So enough with looking at the past in both football and politics. It's time to live in the present and look toward the future. And that future is with President Obama.

    October 31, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. Scott Tucson

    Obama kicks off reporters whose papers endorsed McCain.

    Obama's staff investigates a private citizen for simply asking a

    Considers Americans NAZIS (From Obama's own lips)

    Now he's changing his expectations of CHANGE.

    Has close anti-American hating friends including wife.

    Add it all up and he has all the qualifications the far left needs for president...go figure?

    October 31, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. bill

    Who's next?......the republicans have made a complete mockery of this election. Is anyone other than a republican even listening? I guess he falls in the super wealthy bracket that McCain supports in the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

    October 31, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. CR in WI

    Well, if Ditka's supporting her, then that seals it for me.

    Another angry, easily unhinged old guy, working on another heart attack doesn't do much for me. Stick to predicting football games "Iron" Mike.

    Obama – Gen. Powell, Scott McCullen, Christopher Buckley, Christopher Hutchins
    McCain – Mike Ditka, Al Qaeda, Hank Williams Jr.

    Smart Republicans for Obama
    Lamo divisive blind sheep for Mccain


    October 31, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I can see it now – Ditka for the Ditz.

    Joe the plumber is related to Keating of Keating 5. Keating 5 started the deregulation of savings loans which led to the deregulation of banks, which has us in the spot we're in now.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE – McCain pals around with the Keating.

    October 31, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. kimm.

    He is incredibly wealthy but intelligent as well! Why should those who don't work get the wealth? What about all those hard working Americans who work each and every day 40 or more hours, who struggle to pay bills, while others are sitting back waitng for their handout...
    No shock they would support OBAMA in "spreading the wealth"...while spreading the newly founded American dream of Everything for Nothing!

    October 31, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. time 4 change

    Hmmm, the two of them together = 1/2 gray matter...oh well 1/2 a brain
    is better than a quarter! More lies, insults, and making fools out of themselves.

    October 31, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Rogue Palin

    who cares? About the losers for McPalin they should be ashamed to stand on stage with that ethics violator like Palin and a phony like McCain.

    October 31, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. Pat-Pittsburgh

    Thanks, Mike, you are a great American as is John McCain. C'mon Pennsylvania – THINK – vote McCain, if you want a strong and healthy America again.

    Mike's right get up off your collective a$$es and get a job, NO WELFARE AMERICA!

    October 31, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. GA Independent

    from Wiki:

    "In July 2004, Ditka, a self-described "ultra-ultra-ultra conservative", [3] was reportedly considering running against Democrat Barack Obama for an open seat in the U.S. Senate for Illinois in the 2004 Senate election. "

    Duh sports.

    October 31, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. John

    I always thought Ditka was kind of stupid. Guess this proves it.

    October 31, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. jack

    I liked Ditka.

    Past tense.

    Anyone who shills for this vacuous fraud...can't take them seriously.

    October 31, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. hooverguide

    And when did you last look for work, Mr. Ditka? Perhaps you would like to try it out here in rural Oregon? We are 55+ seniors who have worked hard all our lives - we own a home and still need to work to hold on to it after we lost our jobs when our employer (a land development and home builder) went under in late 2007.
    Your platitudes just don't go very far in this household.

    October 31, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. Kelley At Here

    Whatever...........They are still losing.

    October 31, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  21. Martin

    Ditka will be McCain's Secretary of Health. He's obviously qualified by their standards.

    October 31, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Anonymous

    Hey Ditka look at what you done to the saints by giving up all your draft picks for one player,turned out to be a big mistake because he could not produce anything that was promised. I think your doing the same with being on McCain's side just remember football and politics are not the same but your going at it with the same approach

    October 31, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. Barnhardt in NC

    The irrelevant one teams up with the clueless one. Nice job, GOP!!!!

    October 31, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  24. Chip

    I do believe that Mike was hit in the head one to many times if he believes that mcPlain is the best choice!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 31, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. Bill-Chicago

    Ditka is a traitor to Illinois.

    October 31, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21