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. Real Talk

    Mike Ditka is a football coach and analyst. This is almost as relevant as being endorsed by a drunk country singer like Hank Williams Jr. Who's biggest accomplishment is the Monday Night Football song. Please find some news that is worth reading.

    October 31, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. Turnabout is fair play

    “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.”
    ---------------------------------
    How can we find a job when Bush and McCain keep sending them over fncking seas to India and China, you clueless old rich bastard!!!

    October 31, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. mark

    what a lame argument.people are losing jobs.how does a millionaire know that

    October 31, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Chi4Obama

    “This is the land of opportunity,” ..... “It's not a land of handouts".

    So wasn't the 700 Billion dollar bailout that McCAin supported , pretty much a handout. Sounds like a contradiction to me.

    October 31, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. THE US OF WHAT?

    Mike Ditka you fit right in with the Republican looney tunes.

    By the way its is easy to say if you want a job go get ine, exspecially when your "MIKE THE MILLIONARE"

    YOUR A WEALTHY WEALTH MAN SO JUST TALK FOOTBALL

    October 31, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. America's standards

    Not suprised....But i think Gov Palin and Sen McCain claimed that all the chicagoans are currupt and their politics are terrible...Hmm interesting..

    October 31, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Sharon Jenson

    Mr. Ditka,

    I live in Solano County, California and no matter how hard I try, there are very vew jobs listed her for which there are upwards of 100 applicants. Your comment is not applicable in many areas of the U.S. Your comment is offensive to a single mother with no health care and plenty of job experience in addition to a college education. Still, jobless for months!

    Senator Obama speaks to me when he wishes to recruit quality teachers (me) and is concerned with a single mom who has no health care (me). My mother got breast cancer when she was 36, died at 44. He speaks to me when he wishes to concentrate on preventative health care. McCain does not speak to me or my needs. My choice is simple. Can you do without a "tax break" to offer me one instead?

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

    Mike Ditka – a known intellectual in American Politics. You are not there because you are a Republican. Thats funny! Maybe you should try stand up comedy. No, I'm wrong, you should stick to football.

    October 31, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. robin

    Better late than never . I think with a possible Obama election , many more people will realize the consequenes . America is not at its soul Liberal . Obama words have lulled with perception of a moderate man . Which Obama isnt , again look at who his collegues and friends are . And so many unanswered basics . WHO paid for his Harvard education . We know who launched his carrer . Ayers . He is used to tolerating terrorists . maybe even agrees with them on merit . the thing is ...we really do not know . thats why Mike said he is there as an American

    October 31, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Kay

    The guy does not want to pay progressive income Tax.

    News flash... Mike Ditka do you know how many Americans who has lost their jobs this month a long and this year. Of course in your dream world almost 600,000 people resigned from their job and are not willing to work.

    This is the crap McCain and Palin are preaching. These guys are so out of touch.

    4 more days

    October 31, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. jimmy bob

    mike ditka? joe the plumber? sarah palin?-good decisions john, good decisions!!

    October 31, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Dave From Philly (born in MA)

    Mike should tell his story to the 7,000 american express worker's that just lost their jobs. Or to the auto worker's at the GM plants in MI that are about to lose their jobs.

    Football is a sport, not a job. He has no ideal what working a real jobs is like.

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

    Coach, wrong team man!

    October 31, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. go blue

    Who care for them???

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

    The last time Mike Ditka did anything that mattered was 1985. It's funny how he says do what? about Obama but McCain has not offered any solutions, Joe the plummer is his only ace. How pathetic.

    Only the rich like Ditka don't want change for America.

    Democrats in 08!

    October 31, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. RH

    This is pathetic. Obama declares what he means to do, and they attack him for not detailing how. If he talked about how he was going to effect change, they'd attack him for not saying what he meant to change. It's absurd that it's Obama's campaign that is so often called empty. All the Republicans have got is, "Nuh-uh!"

    October 31, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Scott Tucson

    It's now in the bag for Obama...Al Queda just indorsed Obama!

    October 31, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. D in PA

    I'll see your Mike Ditka, and raise you Jerome Bettis, Franco Harris, and Dan Rooney (all have endorsed Obama). Obama will win PA by 52-48.

    October 31, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. RI

    Love Da Bears and all respect to Da Coach but he really should only talk football and stay out of politics...this is a game he's going to lose. He's going to anger a lot of Chicago Dems too (...not that he cares). Really laughable to be honest.

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

    With all due respect Mr. Ditka, after hearing you butcher the English language week in and week out on Sundays, I've heard one too many "supposablys" from you to accept your opinion as anything more than misguided ignorance. Thanks, but no thanks, I'm voting for hope over fear, for competence over "experience", and to make sure an extreme right-wing nut-job like Palin never gets anywhere near the White House.

    October 31, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. AK

    Mike Ditka is a Fool! I hope he gets kicked out of ESPN.
    Lousy drunk!

    October 31, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. Single Mom in TX

    Yes anyone can find a job...but can they live? With that job that is so available can they pay mortgage? Do they have to work 2 or 3 jobs just to make it? What really makes me laugh is the fact that the Repubs that you see at the rallies and on the streets don't make over 250K, and yet they support people who won't support them. Or give them a break. So uneducated, and so sad

    October 31, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. John

    GO BEARS!

    October 31, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. Chi4Obama

    Mike Ditka has not done anything significant, since winning the '84 Superbowl as coach of the Bears.

    He is irrelevant right now

    October 31, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. Already Voted

    So if you profess you are a republican how does that sway independants?

    My Independent Voice has already concluded Obama has better ideas despite your partisanship.

    October 31, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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