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. Linda

    Mike Ditka can go take a flying leap. As a MBA graduate from a top 25 school, I want to work but could not find a job. Want to show me where that job is as I have been looking???

    October 31, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. sick n tired

    YEA! Add another ignorant, hothead,know nothing, blowhard to the mix! That should put things into perspective! Then he can berate and bully people into voting for you and McCain! What a brilliant idea. Who are you going to showcase next? Coach Bob Knight????

    October 31, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. Eric

    Confused! If you have unqualified people argue your case, this somehow makes you appear to be qualified.
    Did McCain loose his mind along the way?

    SAD, SAD Ending.........

    October 31, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Misty

    I wondered why Mike Ditka was so obnoxious!!!

    October 31, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Steve S. Illinois

    Everybody in Illinois knows he is ultra-ultra-ultra-conservative Republician .

    October 31, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. Brooklyn1935

    Yea sure....wiling to work and find a job.
    WHAT JOB is he talking about?
    . It's easy BS when you're rich.

    October 31, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. AVelasquez

    God Bless Mike Ditka. He spoke the truth when he said McCain is the right man to lead us forward. An Obama presidency would be scary and he never seems to go through with his promises to the citizens of this country. His ties to questionable people should make people stop and think what is best for the safety of this country and the obvious answer is not Obama, it's McCain.

    October 31, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. Pete

    Coach Ditka:

    Tell my friend who lost a job as a computer programmer at a major corporation that all he needs to do is hit the pavement to find a job.

    Yes, he can find one at McDonald's or Wal-Mart, but they're not going to replace his $85 thousand salary, are they? Are they going to pay for the college education of his two daughters (who are both in college right now)?

    Shame on you and on anyone who believes what you're saying.

    October 31, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Amy

    So they're okay using "celebrities" but criticize Obama for doing the same?!

    Pure Republican hypocrisy!

    October 31, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Joseph Adewole

    Mr.Opportunist; and where there is no job, what will people look for..The Republicans have destroyed all the jobs...what do we do?

    October 31, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. Sherry

    OH BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mike Ditka LOL...........who would have thunk it ahhahahhahahaaaaaaaa.......good grief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. Mark

    COLLIN POWELL MADE THE ARGUMENT TO GO TO WAR IN IRAQ>>>NOW he supports hussein and yo ulove him. idiots

    October 31, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. Betty

    Anyone with half a brain will vote for McCain. Those of us with a full brain will vote for Obama.

    October 31, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. Undecided Voter in NC

    Ha ha. I never cared for Ditka too much to tell you the truth but I'm kind of warming up to him after reading this article.

    October 31, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. Kina, A Veteran in NYC

    WHISKEY!
    TANGO!
    FOXTROT!
    Mike Ditka???...hahaha...at this moment, the republican campaign should change their motto from "COUNTRY FIRST" to "I BET YOU'LL NEVER KNOW WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN NEXT"...wowww...Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are going senile now...hahahaha...

    Obama/Biden 08

    Kina.

    October 31, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. Noah

    McCAin also got the backing of 4 former secretaries of state. Obama has one, Colin Powell. Wow.

    October 31, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. Linda32

    I guess Republicans can have their celebrates also? hypocrites

    October 31, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. Arlene, Illinois

    Here in Chicago we'd like to hear Ditka and Sarah sing
    at Wrigley Field during a Cubs game and hear the BOOS again!

    October 31, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. Christine CT Ind.

    kimm

    Please do some research on socioeconomics. I think you'd be surprised to learn that not everyone is "sitting back" collecting handouts.
    Additionally, you may also be interested in knowing that these "handouts" you refer to would not be as necessary if there were proper programs to help the physically or mentally disabled, children, the elderly, veterans, and others...

    October 31, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. The REAL LT ... Not LT lite

    Ditka ... I'd like to see what Mike Singletary .... the REAL reason for the Bear Super Bowl victories ... has to say.

    As much as Ditka wants to portray himself as a leader and a winner ... he wasn't the one that did the heavy lifting ... it was the BEAR DEFENSE that made them champions ... As much as I don't like him, Buddy Ryan gets more credit than Ditka.

    So McCain, you can keep trotting out these gimmicky outsiders like Arnold, Joe The Plumber, and Mike Ditka. It won't work. Remember, you don't think celebrity is a good thing in politics.

    Obama is the real deal.

    October 31, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Dan, TX

    Republicans for Obama. We need to take our party back. The first step is to cut out the neocons, we can do that by defeating them in this election. Let's go back to reason and logic as the basis. George Will is more my type of conservative than Sarah Palin. In fact, they are nothing alike.

    I'm a member of George Will's party. I am definitely not a member of Sarah Palin's party.

    October 31, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. johnrj08

    Ditka played one too many games without a helmet. He doesn't even know what "change" is necessary in a country that is praying for change. Bringing in a football coach to sell Palin panders to the lowest common denominators in this election.

    October 31, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. Healther James

    Mike D. has been hit in the head one too many times. He should have kept his original name which was Mike Dyczko.. And Mike we remeber when you attempted to run againist Obama and got scared, because of all the skeletons in your closet.

    October 31, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  24. rich for the rich

    Mike Ditka? Joe the Plumber?
    WHO CARES?
    Mike is rich and of course does NOT want to pay HIS FAIR share.
    Joe the Plumber is dumber than a box of rocks – who cares!
    My husband and I WILL BE PAYING more taxes and you know what?
    WE DON'T CARE!
    WE do care about our fellow countrymen – so there.. I am MORE patiotic than Mike Ditka.

    October 31, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. Helen

    “We talk about change,” Ditka said. “Change from what, to what, and how? How you gonna do anything?

    Dika please visit barackobama.com. The answers are there.

    While I can understand you standing by your party (repub.) I believe you know just as well as the rest of america that neither McCain nor Palin are up for the job.

    McCain can't even run his campaign, why should we trust him with our future. And Palin, well Palin is just Palin. She should have told John McCain "Thanks, but no thanks" I'm not qualified.

    October 31, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21