In 2004, legendary football player and coach Mike Ditka was considering running for Illinois’ vacant Senate seat, but he’s once again lamenting his failure to run because it could have stopped President Obama’s political trajectory.
In a radio interview with Sid Rosenberg and Bernard McGuirk on WABC, Ditka said he regrets not running.
“Obama's the worst president we've ever had,” he said, according to FOX Sports. “Barack Obama's a fine man. I mean, he's pleasant. He would be great to play golf with. He's not a leader. This country needs leadership. It needs direction. It needs somebody that steps up front. We need somebody like Ronald Reagan.”
Ditka said he’s not sure who he’s going to vote for, but he’s leaning toward Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.
"There's a lot of qualified people that are better than [Hillary Clinton]," Ditka said. "That's what I'm trying to say. You know, you've got to pick your poison. Does Donald do everything right? No. The people that hate him, hate him, but people like him because he says things that resonate with what they think ... If I were to vote tomorrow, I'd probably vote for Trump.”
This isn’t the first time Ditka, who has described himself as “ultra-ultra-ultra conservative," has expressed regrets about the 2004 election. According to Deadspin, he said during the 2013 opening of a North Dakota oil facility that it was a major failing on his part. "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 chose not to run in that election because of his busy schedule at the time, although Republican committee chair George Allen urged him to do so.