By Carol Cain
CBS 62

UPDATE 4/12: Denise Ilitch Clarifies Pizza Party “Joke” 

President Barack Obama is coming to the Motor City for a $1 million pizza party being thrown for him compliments of Denise Ilitch, daughter of Little Caesars’ founders Mike and Marian Ilitch. Ilitch is opening her home April 18 for the fundraiser where movers and shakers are being asked to pony up thousands to add to his re-election coffer while getting a chance to rub shoulders with the most powerful man on the planet.

“I’m honored to have been asked by the Obama campaign to host,” Ilitch said of the event she and husband, Jim Scalici, will hold at their Metro Detroit home. She made the comments on “Michigan Matters” when asked about media reports. Watch the full episode.

When asked what she planned to serve, she said, laughing: “Pizza! But, we’ll be serving it on sterling silver plates!”

The event isn’t tied to Little Caesars headquarters in any way, nor does it mean the family is endorsing the president. It’s strictly a private affair.

And the price of admission isn’t for those on a budget. $40,000 buys access to the cocktail reception, formal photo with Obama and dinner. $10,000 buys dinner and a photo.

The event is the latest twist in the political relationship between Obama and Ilitch, eldest of the Ilitch’s seven children. Mike and Marian also own the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Fox Theatre, Motor City Casino and more. The family is among the wealthiest and most influential in Michigan with an empire worth billions.

Obama Detroit Rally Denise Ilitch 2008

(credit: Denise Ilitch Designs)

Denise Ilitch, a Democrat, is a busy mom of three who is also co-publisher of Ambassador Magazine, runs a jewelry design business and is chairwoman of the University of Michigan regents. When the Illinois senator came to Detroit in 2008 while running for president, Ilitch was among those who greeted him and gave Obama, his wife, Michelle, and Joe Biden their own NHL Championship Detroit Red Wings Jerseys inscribed with their names. She got applause when she said she’d get Obama another jersey for the White House after he won.

Ilitch, who won as a regent at UM in 2008, toyed with the idea of running for governor in 2010. Obama invited her to the White House to discuss the notion which she did. But Ilitch decided the timing wasn’t right.

One person who won’t pass up the chance to attend Obama’s party is Roy Roberts. He’s one of the most successful black executives in the nation who left a comfortable retirement after working at General Motors and other firms to take over as emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools when asked by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “Obama’s done a great job,” said Roberts, who appeared with Ilitch and Charlie Beckham, chairman of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, on “Michigan Matters.” “Do you know how much it means to be able to go into a classroom and see thousands of kids (of color) and tell them they can be anything they want to be – including being president of the United States!” Roberts said.

Metro Detroit’s known for many things like autos, Motown and being home to some major league pizza chains. Besides Little Caesars, there’s Domino’s Pizza, Hungry Howie’s, Jet’s Pizza and Shield’s Restaurant, Bar and Pizza, just to mention a few. With the presidential race heating up and Michigan native son Mitt Romney, son of the late Gov. George Romney, looking like the GOP nominee, one wonders if Romney knows any pizza chain owners who might want to hold a pizza party for him too. In this billion dollar presidential contest, every dollar helps.

Ilitch, meanwhile, is busy with dinner preparations, which will also include some other entrees, but took a second to add a final thought about her dinner guest and her family baseball team. “I want to present Obama with a Detroit Tigers’ World Championship jersey after he wins re-election,” she said of the Tigers’ and Obama’s chances of winning their contests that will conclude this fall.

Carol Cain is the Emmy winning Senior Producer and Host of “Michigan Matters” airing 11:30 am Sundays on CBS 62. She writes about business and politics in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press. You can reach her at

Comments (391)
  1. Chris says:

    One thing that bothers me about these people and others like these people who profess to be Democrat and just love love love BHusseinO. Don’t they realize that he despises capitalism and wants to redistribute their wealth? Or maybe it’s just OPM other people’s money. Those on the left are just so d*&n stupid to be blindsided by this fool espcially Orpah, who I hope loses every d*&n dime she’s ever made. She used the American people big time. OMG, 2012.

    1. DeusVult says:

      OMG! “OMG” 2012!
      “OH MY GOD-obama MUST GO!”

    2. Dan says:

      Chris, the reason the very wealthy support Obama is becasue its about power. No matter what the taxes or business killing legislation these wealthy people will be ok. In fact by supporting Obama they insure that the next small time pizza shop in Garden City will never be able to rise up and take their place. They were all about capitolism and free market values when there was one Little Ceases and Mike was out trying to build a business but now that they are on top of the heap its about staying there.

      1. David Smith says:

        Little Ceasars is being used just to show that Obama is friendly to small business owners.

        1. boxwrench1 says:

          Little Ceasars isn’t a small business, idiot!

    3. Laura says:

      Agreed Chris. For the life of me I can’t figure it out. Is it that the socialists (celebrities) and socialism training centers (public schools) teach us to feel guilty when we’re successful? What happened to people who were thankful for work and therefore thankful for those who created the jobs?

  2. Chris says:

    I’m done with Little Ceasars.

  3. Mr. Reality says:

    $40,000 in order to get a case of the runs? No thanks to that offer or any offer involving the O-man.

  4. Chris Edens says:

    Ah, so my Little Caesars pizza money is going to this shmuck Obama?

    That’s the last LC pizza I ever purchase.

  5. jewfromhell says:

    Nogger Rich!

  6. alan says:

    I have eatten at little Caesers for the last time. I will also boycott any product advertised on MSNBC. How dare they incite race baiting by altering evidence? How dare they try to hurt this country by lying to us? All they did was cause a problem within our country for a reason only they know of.

  7. Cas47 says:

    Thanks for this article. Now I know to avoid Little Ceasar’s pizza. ABO 2012

  8. FAIRTV says:

    So, maybe Obama doesn’t hate the one percent as much as he would like for us to believe.

    1. Scudbuster says:

      They are HIS 1%, so they are OK.

  9. ferretaz says:

    Never eating Little Caesar’s again. Adding them to the list with Carbonite!

    1. Zinovi Golodner says:


    2. Name Jamie Shafer says:

      Pro Flowers too!

  10. Brushjumper says:

    These people are the one, (1) percenters……

    Detroit, as most American cities are the new reservations for minorities, poverty, crime, UNWED Mothers, school dropouts(76%), 50 percent illiteracy rate, corrupt unions, abortions, drugs, gangs, gangsters, guns, abyss of crime, debauchery, gun play, school truancy, car-jacking, human depravity, cronyism, incompetence, arrogance, 7 out of 10 murders remain unsolved, unemployment rate is 32.9%, and general entitlement living. They have become this way (AS WE ALL KNOW) from the liberal progressive mindset of spread the wealth. With Aid to Dependent Children, (73% Out of Wedlock) minority women birthed eight to 10, and in one case, one woman birthed 24 children and all on American taxpayer dollars.

    1. A G Kaya says:

      You stated this truthfully, succinctly and was exactly what I’ve been telling people for some time now. I would add: end all welfare, end hospital treatment for gang-bangers shot in perpetuation of a crime. How do we do this, you may ask? All hard working, law-abiding taxpayers withhold taxes owed to the federal guvment until these demands are met. I know, I’m fantasizing, but it’s good to have a day dream once in a while.

  11. MarkW says:

    Well, no more LC pizza for me!

  12. woody says:

    We need to let the world know, what little Caesars Is doing.
    Time for us to start boycotting things we do not like.
    That’s the liberal; favorite game.

    1. west coaster says:

      switching to round table pizza! Little Ceasers will leave a bad taste in my mouth in light of this revealing news!

  13. Jackson says:

    No more L. Caesers in this house. If they give their money to this idiot, that does it!

  14. agatematt says:

    Instead of serving pizza on those Stirling Silver plates, why doesn’t Denise Ilitch sell the plates and donate the proceeds to local food kitchens of which there are, sadly, far too many. They could use it for none of the poor and homeless are going to munching pizza with the president. Another group that isn’t going to be at least outside picketing are the Detroit area’s occupy groups or their union allies. Guess to them those who can afford to shell out $10,000 or $40,000 for the Obama campaign are still considered part of the 99 percent.

  15. David says:

    no moe lill’ ceaser fo me

  16. chris says:

    Dang, that family made a lot of money from poor people buying their lousy pizza…now they’re throwing that money around on a debt ridden President!

    1. mindovermatter says:

      Amen Chris!

  17. lingsun says:

    As always, Obama gets his money from the rich. At the same time he denounces them. Are those people idiots or what????

  18. Knot Jammin, Jr. says:

    Not being one to never say never, this is one promise I plan to keep. I will never purchase anything from Little Caesar’s again. I have printed this article up and will pass it out to every like minded person I know and will also drop of a copy at the local franchise. I will not support any business that supports Obama.

  19. Debbie Schlussel says:

    Why Won’t Carol Cain Disclose that she’s Denise Ilitch’s Best Friend & That’s Why She’s Giving Her This Biased Advertisement for the Obama Fundraiser?

  20. Bon Carft says:

    No more LC, Motor City Casino, or Tigers/Wings tickets for me and friends and family.

  21. cd says:

    We need to tweet the where is is @ and tell the Public FREE WELFARE FOOD,and start a problem for the “little god-government”!

  22. mark prinz says:

    i’ll never eat another “little ceasar’s” again. i hope they go broke for supporting this dope of a commander in cheats

  23. LorenzoLlama says:

    Well that explains why my post never made it past the c(bs)ensors. Carol Cain is Denise Ilitch’s good friend? Hmmmm….she must be editing the board personally today. Figures. The dishonest, and limo-libs flock together.

  24. Gabe Asher says:

    Will never buy another thing from them. They no longer exist.

  25. 11 11 says:

    Just threw up in my mouth a little when I read this article. Same thing happened last time I put a Little Caesars in my mouth.

  26. Bob says:

    Sounds about right to me…”Little Ceasar” = Little Obama

  27. Mike says:

    No more Little Caesars for me.

  28. r charles says:

    i don’t like their pizza no lose for me

  29. kentuckian says:

    Gotta change my speed dial from LC to Papa Johns.

  30. Jeff says:

    Pshhh I eat pizza on platinum plates

  31. Bob says:

    All joking aside Little Ceasar pizza is really bad. You are better off going to the dumpster any greasy spoon place for your meal. No kidding all those folk are going to have the runs for two days.

  32. Breitbart says:

    I am done with Little Caesers just like I am done with cars made by the UAW.

  33. greg says:

    Little Caesar’s no longer welcome in my house. I will now support Domino’s and past owner Tom Monaghan, a proven conservative!

  34. Jeanmchambers says:

    “Little Caesars’ “, how appropriate!!!!

    One dictator throwing a party for another dictator.

    Just give the word and we the people will tar and feather the freak in the white house!

  35. spiro andritsis says:

    Goodbye Little Caesars…

  36. Charlie Nestor says:

    Ms. Ilitch – another textbook example of “more money than brains”.

  37. DrEvil says:

    The rich who support Democrats are not stupid because they know how fascism works. They expect to get all the breaks from the government while their competitors and the industries not favored by the government are given the bill. They are just cozying up to those who can make or break them. The fact that a Constitutionally limited government would have little to no impact on their business is besides the point.

  38. John Rain says:

    Never, ever will Little Ceasars ever see a dollar of mine again. Your an idiot for supporting a man who is undermining our free society and catering to the lowest common denominator. BYE BYE LC.

  39. BIGDOGDADDY says:


  40. Mike says:

    I will never buy a Little Caeser’s pizza again and neither are my friends and family. We are also encouraging our facebook friends to do the same along with their facebook friends and on and on

  41. Daniel Bryant says:

    Ha, the irony of Little Ceasar throwing a party for our little Ceasar.

    Will N E V E R eat, order or take my family to this dictator-enabling franchise again.

    Bam’s friends are my enemies.

  42. Curious George says:

    I wonder if the pizza delivery guy will be shot and robbed by Obama’s hoodie wearing brothers, the new black panthers?

  43. sorry4mykids says:

    I find it humorous that they call it the “Detroit metro area”. The reason is that Detroit is a dead city, worst run, broke and by whom? Hmmm I know who. So you cant say anything that is from Detroit only the metro area The Chrysler add about imported from Detroit is accurate when seen from the perspective that Detroit is like a 3rd world country.

  44. Jo North says:

    No more Little Caesar’s for me!

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