WATFORD CITY, N.D. (CBS Connecticut) — NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka is regretting not running against President Barack Obama for the Illinois Senate seat in 2004.
During an interview with The Dickinson Press following his appearance at North Dakota’s Oil Patch grand opening ceremony, the former Chicago Bears coach and current NFL analyst for ESPN believes Obama would not be president right now if he ran for Senate.
“Biggest mistake I’ve ever made,” Ditka said. “Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn’t be in the White House.”
Ditka told CNN leading up to the 2008 presidential election that he was not a fan of Obama.
“I’m a staunch conservative,” he told CNN. “You can’t fool me about socialism and the welfare state.”
Ditka did consider running for Senate after Republicans reached out to him, but declined due to business and family obligations.
Ditka – who led the 1985 Bears to a Super Bowl win – was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988.