Mike Ditka Likes Donald Trump, And The Feeling Is Mutual
By Kate Shepherd in News on Sep 8, 2015 9:33PM
Mike Ditka is ready to undo his "biggest mistake" and "make America great again"—with Donald Trump.
The self-described "ultra-ultra-ultra conservative" Ditka blames himself for President Barack Obama's rise to the presidency. He decided not to run against Obama for a U.S. Senate seat in 2004 following the implosion of GOP candidate Jack Ryan.
"Biggest mistake I've ever made," Ditka said at the opening of a North Dakota oil facility in 2013. "Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn't be in the White House."
Now Ditka, a legendary Bears coach turned restaurant and kids clothing mogul, likes Trump for president in 2016, but concedes that maybe the reality TV star should think before he speaks.
"Sometimes, I think he has to think a little more before he says things, but I think he's on the right track," Ditka told the Sun-Times in a taped interview. "I think he has the fire in his belly to make America great again, and he'll probably do it the right way. I do like him."
Ditka, who is registered to vote in Florida, is no stranger to political endorsements. He supported former Ald. Bob Fioretti for mayor, appeared in a campaign commercial for Gov. Bruce Rauner, introduced Sarah Palin at a McCain rally and shockingly taped an endorsement video for Gov. Pat Quinn in 2010.
Trump already has big plans for Ditka. He told the Sun-Times that Ditka's "kind of attitude and personality is what our country needs as its representative."
"I'd love to have Mike involved in some capacity," Trump said. "Why? Because Mike knows how to win and our politicians don't."
Honestly, Trump sounds more enthusiastic about Ditka than Ditka is about him. Trump has posted inspirational Ditka quotes on Twitter before.
"He's a great guy," Trump said. "A total winner. A totally great guy and a total winner. And I am honored to hear such nice things said about me that are totally unsolicited!"
"You're never a loser until you quit trying." -- Mike Ditka— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2014
“Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal.” - Mike Ditka— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2014
Ditka should expect to get one of Trump's infamous red "Make America Great Again" hats in the mail soon. He sent one to New England Patriots quarterback and Deflategate survivor Tom Brady, who stopped short of saying he'd actually vote for Trump even though they're friends.
"I don't know," Brady told the 'Dennis & Callahan Morning Show'. "Am I going to vote for him? That's a good question."
Brady's not alone. Trump's rise to GOP frontrunner has mystified many Americans including the media and the Republican establishment.
Following the controversial Fox News debate on Aug. 6, National Journal political columnist Ron Fournier described Trump as "a liar, a bully and a sexist who wouldn't give Fox News moderators a straight answer—a celebrity billionaire who is treating your party like a trophy wife."
Since the debate, Trump's poll numbers have risen, much to the chagrin of former GOP frontrunners such as Gov. Scott Walker, former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio who are all struggling to stage comebacks.
"It does kind of indicate how politics has been turned on its head," GOP strategist and Bush supporter Vin Weber told Bloomberg. "All of us-pundits, journalist, everyone-we may have underestimated the anti-establishment mood dramatically."
He's attracting a voter who's angry and frustrated with the Washington status quo and who may have not been very politically engaged before, according to the Associated Press.
"Maybe we need a warrior instead of a politician," Trump supporter Duane Ernster, of Dubuque, Iowa told the AP. "People compare Mr. Trump to Putin. There's something to be said about the man, who takes care of the Russian people."
A recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling proves the anti-establishment sentiments of many Trump supporters. 66-percent of polled Trump supporters believe that Obama is a Muslim, 61-percent believe that Obama was not born in the U.S. and 63-percent support changing the constitution to eliminate birthright citizenship, according to Business Insider.