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. Chi4Obama

    So Mike Ditka (Republican), is choosing to back a Republican ticket.

    And why is this news?

    October 31, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    I guess that the very rich Mike Ditka needs McCain's tax break pretty badly!

    October 31, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. Mike in CA

    Ditka should stick to football!!

    October 31, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. Kay1111

    I'm noticing that in editorials and posts on line that it is either the wealthy supporting him because they don't want to give up their tax breaks and loopholes (their articles rarely hold any water) or it's the religious zealots and racists running around like chicken little declaring the sky is falling. The US Taliban...pretty pathetic. Well, I just hope there are enough conscientious people paying attention to the issues and that Obama/Biden win by a landslide.

    October 31, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. Dj

    Mike Ditka is also incredibly onery and erractic... which also explpains why he is supporting McCain... Birds of a feather... flock together.

    October 31, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Larry

    Yeah, this coming from Mike the Rich Guy. Give me a break. Exactly what is McCain going to do...to this date all his camp is saying...Obama this/Obama that????

    October 31, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. Tom in Wheaton, Illinois

    Nice to see "da coach" throw down. Like in football, sometimes even the greatest player makes a boo-boo. Even if he's dead wrong, at least he's still kickin'.

    October 31, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. jenny

    Iron Mike Ditka needs to check in with a mental doctor immediately.Are you kidding me.You can find a job anywhere or anytime.People all over America are asked to leave their jobs because companies are not making money and this jerk is with The other idiot Palin talking trash. You could ask a blind person and they will tell you it's rotten in America.Mike Ditka bread is well buttered thanks to the NFL. He is one that believes make the rich even richer and the poor even poorer.

    October 31, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. JL

    Rich dudes supporting other rich dudes. Shocker.

    McCain won't spread the wealth around, he will just take from me (and others in the middle) and give it to Ditka and, of course, Cindy. Just like Bush.

    I so hope people get out and vote for Obama.

    October 31, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Gloria

    Sadly Ditka doesn't say what McCain nor Palin would do.

    Anyway, where are Sarah Palin's medical record

    October 31, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. ines

    The Beauty and the Beast of Loserville..

    October 31, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. Mike in Columbus

    Hopefully they can get him to show up when and where they want.

    October 31, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. wwf

    Wow. Lets see. Mike, Joe, who else? vs Clinton, Clinton, Gore? Lunch meat vs steak.

    October 31, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Macunaima

    What a masterful coup for the Palin-McCain ticket. Things are bound to turn around now with Ditka's financial expertise. If he can only do with the US economy what he did to with the Nola Saints, we'll be out of this mess in no time. Wait ... As they say in my homeland, if stupidity were excrement, Mr Ditka wd need to carry a toilet on his back.

    October 31, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. LIP

    Doesn't anyone like people that work for a living and actually go out and make something of themselves? Must we all be poverished and on welfare and just plain to darn lazy to want to make a living?
    It seems that most all the bloggers on here want to live in a socialist state where the government takes care of everything for you, where there is no incentive to want to be successful.
    Be careful what you wish for, you may get it and then you will have to live with it.
    Vote McCain

    October 31, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. Independant no longer

    Newscaster: Senator Obama, I want to congratulate you on raising a record $150 million in one month. Quite an accomplishment.
    Obama: Thank you. We worked very hard and very long to raise that money.
    Newscaster: You don't mind if I take some of it and give it to Senator McCain? He doesn't have as much.
    Obama: You can't do that! I worked hard for that money! That's my money!
    Newscaster: No so much fun when it's your money getting spread around is it???
    Obama, empty promises, already back tracking on what he will do, bad for america!!!

    Know the issues, vote intelligently, vote McCain!!!!

    October 31, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. mama4obama

    Stick to football buddy. You are clearly on the wrong side of the American people right now.

    October 31, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. OBBI 08


    October 31, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. Nathan,

    What does the McCain campaign have agianst using people with an IQ above 90. If there is someone out there who is inarticulate and dumb they will find them and use them. Palin, Joe the unlicensed plumber , Ditka. These guys are a joke.

    October 31, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. Susan

    Joe the Plumber, Sarah the Unqualified, Tito the Builder, now Mike the Ex-Football Coach! WOW! Who's next - Bozo the Clown? McCain's campaign tactics remind me of kindergarten story time at the local library.

    October 31, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. TN Dem

    Like Mike Ditka knows anything about what it's like for so many jobless and homeless people, many of whom are not in that position because they're not willing to work. It's easy to say "anybody can find a job" when you're a former Super Bowl winner – it's quite another thing when you've been struggling all your life just to survive. What an incredibly ignorant thing for him to say! It just shows how amazingly out of touch yet another McCain/Palin mouthpiece is.

    And speaking of ignorant comments, what exactly is he saying with his ranting about change? He's criticizing Obama for talking about change by talking about McCain making changes??? His statements are almost as undecipherable as Palin's!

    October 31, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. johninchitown

    PLEASE! Ditka is known for a one-time trip to the Super Bowl, hot dogs, and his ranting. Endorsement by him standing next to Palin fits right in with the hot-dog selling.

    October 31, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. Stevo

    He was not that good of a coach, If it were not for the legs of Mr. Walter Payton he would be one of those recycled coaches!!! You know the ones who go 2-14 and still end up coaching some where else, and he certainly will not say anything to change my mind so beat it!!!!! I would say stick to ESPN football talk but hell, he can't
    do that well either!!!!

    October 31, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. Lawrence

    So Iron Mike has already lost to BO before.......... makes sense now. It's amaaaaaaazing how many rich folks roll out to tell "regular working people " how easy it is to make it.

    October 31, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. Jeffrey

    Seriously..Joe the Plumber, and Mike the Coach...these are supposed to be people we relate to. You know, Bush was someone we supposedly related to and look at the mess we're in.

    This is a tough job with tough challenges. I don't want someone "like me". I want someone who's smarter than me!

    October 31, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
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