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. L Najor says:

    Down goes ceasar Down goes ceasar

    1. texguy says:

      Gee that’s swell since the economy is so strong in Detroit. What a joke, Little Caesars will be without a few customers now including me. Hopefull they won’t serv that pathetic $5 pizza, maybe they can get Domino’s to deliver.

      1. JillyJoe says:

        Is Mooch-elle going to be there and stuff her rich fat face with all that greasy cheese and cured meats, truffles, and lobster? Or will she be having the sprout salad?

      2. Babs says:

        I so agree! Will never eat Little C. again.

        1. Greg says:

          Nooooo, say it isn’t so. The beloved owner of 2 of my favorite teams is a flaming lib! I wont eat their pizza but I have to draw the line with the Tigers and Wings. I’ll continue watching!

    2. The Teleprompter of the United States says:

      Order from Little POTUS and get…

    3. The Teleprompter of the United States says:

      Let them eat…

      Obama’s got a plate…
      IN HIS HEAD!!!

    4. Syd says:

      MOTTO: “We brought it all down, man! Now what ?”
      PIZZA ALTERNATE: “I brought your stuff all down, man! Now you can only read about it.”

  2. Ralloh says:

    I always liked Little Caesar’s pizza. Never again and I will ask all my friends and family to boycott them. I hope all you readers out there will do the same.

    1. ENOUGH ROPE says:

      I will never buy another Little Caesar’s pizza.

      1. Jamesb says:

        Me either; when will these liberal plutocrats “get it.” We don’t like their agenda and will vote with our “entertainment” $$$$$.


      2. EvilRichPerson says:

        I’m with you. I haven’t purchased a Little Caesars pizza in years…and I will definitely not ever purchase one in the future

    2. Joe Bite-me says:

      That pizza is the nastiest of all of the chains, so it’s no surprise the O team would pick them. Like Moo-chele would say, “let them eat cake”.

    3. Haha says:

      I hate Little Caesar’s Pizza but I will certainly make sure to buy at least one per week! Other libs will do the same.

      You guys are ridiculous.

      1. cwew says:

        Hook, line and sinker. Don’t forget to get the KoolAid-

      2. laffin'atcha says:

        HAHA – what flavor kool-aid goes with your pizza?

      3. SJ says:

        No, I don’t think so. Its the libs that are ridiculous. You fools are flushing us down the drain. So, take your Little Caesars’ Pizza and stuff it.

      4. fffan says:

        Another 4 years of the “O” team and Little Ceasars will be all we can afford.

      5. Frank says:

        Yes, help out the 1%ers–amazing most are libs for obama

    4. Randy says:

      I will never eat another Little Caesars pizza either. And I will tell me friends and Family to boycott them aswell. Obama has been a disaster for this Country.. The dems are the party of the rich and famous the 1%. Democrats are either wealthy Union thugs or on welfare. Union is the same as welfare tax payers give to most of them also. BOYCOTT LITTLE CAESARS

    5. dolson42 says:

      Someone should have Domino’s delivered during the party

      1. AlleyOoop says:

        HMMMMM! Very interesting idea! Got a phone#?

    6. Miles Monroe says:

      Well that’s a bummer. I liked the occasional five buck pizza. I’m done with chain pizza restaurants. They all support the lefties.

  3. ren1a says:

    Pizza on sterling silver?? Party of the common people??? Why not paper plates???? What a scam…Dems are no more for the common person than some two bit third world leader….At least the Repubs are honest about their ambitions…

    1. wt says:

      Or some two bit socialist OBOZO. I agree BOYCOTT LITTLE CAESER’S

  4. David says:

    Pizza Pizza!

    Never Never!

    Again Again!

    1. Bri says:

      Love It! Love It!

      1. Jamesb says:

        DITTO! DITTO!

        1. Haha says:

          Ha ha!

          Losers Losers!

          1. Jamesb says:

            Ha ha!

            Liberal liberal!

            Sheep sheep!

            Baa baa!

            Welfare check welfare check!

            No pride no pride!

            No cajones no cajones!

    2. Bill in Houston says:

      Indeed! Indeed!

  5. kcs says:

    Just one more reason to hate the Red Wings.

  6. Rick says:

    Not eating Little Cesars again,oh well

  7. iambicpentamaster says:

    Little Sleazers and Obama — perfect for each other.

  8. Not Likely says:

    Look at all the crybabys. How do you people manage to survive in the world when your biggest concern appears to be what political party a pizza company’s heirs belong to?

    1. nuisance207 says:

      Better than crying about boycotting companies that support legislation that prevents voter fraud.

      1. kathy says:

        HERE, HERE!!!!!

    2. BadPenny says:

      That is why Liberal boycotts never work, liberals have no principles to stand on. Liberals dont even know what having principles means and that is why they dont understand how conservatives can drop a business in a heartbeat and never look back! Because they do it due to their strong principles. I even go so far is to look up someone’s party affiliation on their voting card when hiring contract workers, like if I need a plumper or the AC guy or a landscaper. This is still American and I don’t want to spend one penny on a business that supports the same party who is detrimental to businesses! Same with movies and TV! The liberals are not getting my money!

    3. MonkeysAzz says:

      Yeah, just stfu and eat your peas, then go to sleeeeep.

  9. mikesvoice says:

    Shows how “In Touch” with the “middle class” these folks really are….the amount of money being contributed to Barry’s campaign would go a long way in “helping the problems we have in America…..While I agree Barry is the Real Problem, people like Denise & Jim are simply compounding the problem by assisting him to destroy this Nation.

  10. Steve3 says:

    Just wait until history reveals he is America’s biggest criminal and usurper. That will look good. LOL

  11. hazel Burke says:

    Now I know where I won’t be buying my pizza. Mr. B is going to be very disappointed.

  12. vicky bennett says:

    MY LAST LITTLE CESARS PIZZA EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT A JOKE.

  13. Jada says:

    I didn’t know Little Caesars is black owned and supports a socialist agenda…no more Little Caesars for me!

  14. Locke says:

    I can just see the next Little Caesar commercial: get 5% off your pizza order with proof of being on welfare.

  15. Racerboy says:

    Needless to say I have purchased my LAST Little Caeser’s Pizza. The disturbing part is how out of touch the Illitch family business elites are with the problems our nation faces. If they want to donate to the Barrack Obama, fine. But, to broadcast the fact they are holding a fund raiser is simply a very poor business decision.

  16. yiddishlion says:

    I’m sorry, but who in their right mind actually thinks Little Cesar’s pizza tastes good? Seriously? It is just as nasty as Godfather’s.

    1. laffin'atcha says:

      or Digiorno’s

  17. Gwyndaf Evans says:

    That was funny, “the most powerful man on the planet”.
    I’m going to nominate this a “Written Tripe Award”, without further ado!

  18. jon says:

    If Obama gets re-elected I hope he steals all their money, seizes their assets, and goes golfing. Maybe then they will learn the consequence of being stupid.

    1. Jamesb says:

      So true, I totally agree; elections have consequences. Let consequences RAIN DOWN on these wealthy hypocrites.

  19. Semaj Recnad says:

    In Detroit, they should spend a cool million on finding fathers for all the kids with fathers locked up in the industrial prison industry.

  20. jon says:

    Libs own Little Skeezer’s? And they pay their workers how much?? Employees should unionize and demand a minimum $20/hour plus benefits. I’m sure their liberal employers would support that, right?

  21. RKS says:

    I wasn’t aware of that. No more Little Caesars.

    1. Haha says:

      Good, maybe you’ll shed that weight.

  22. Cleary says:

    For $40K will I get a basketball with herr President’s picture on it?

    1. t from nj says:

      how about a football with o’s mug on it so i can kick it into the river

  23. Haha says:

    Haven’t been to Little Caesar’s in a decade, but will be throwing an office party with pizzas tomorrow! Just to prove it to the righties… hahahahaha

    1. Paul Begala says:

      …to prove what? ….. that you’re stupid?

    2. t from nj says:

      how long after obowmo’s 2nd term will you have that office job(unless it is a welfare office)

    3. DaPower says:

      Better tell your office mates you’re getting Little Ceaser’s Pizza…you may find out they have other plans!

  24. Defend Thyself says:

    While Obozo is flapping his lips about fat cat bankers, wall street greed, taxing the rich, blah, blah, blah, his hand is right behind his back, palm side up, waiting to be greased. He travels all over the world, stays at the finest hotels, eats the finest foods and drinks the finest wines, yet promotes a class warfare of rich vs poor. And democrat that believe a word he says is an idiot.

  25. InnaSnit says:

    Lousy pizza, worse President

    1. Alberto S says:


  26. Marcia says:

    Stupid little Denise probably doesn’t have a clue that had the ilk of Obama been in power when her parents were founding their company she would be eating lots of mac and cheese and worrying about how to fill her gas tank. Shame on her!

  27. walter12 says:

    What a monster, what a liar, what a Stalinist, what arrogance, what a nightmare this demon Obama is for the country.

  28. Alberto S says:

    This “Pizza Party” may turn out to be one big fiasco
    for Denise Ilitch and whatever his name is.

  29. TonyTonyTony says:

    You want good pizza? JET’S PIZZA is the best. Why? I don’t know. Probably ’cause they’re a small franchise, and it’s still controlled by the original family. Tight quality control. It’s to die for. Never liked Little Caesar’s…Low quality. Always cheap ingredients (lousy crust, watery sauce, yucky old scrunched up toppings, and low quality cheese). If you happen to live in the “hood” you won’t find a JET”S but you might just find a Little Caesar’s. Hmmmmm??? That’s a coincidence…

  30. Jim says:

    I thought they founded Domino’s Pizza not Little Ceasars

    1. ~ Daniel Love says:

      They bought the Detroit tigers from the founder of Dominos back in the 80’s.

  31. laffin'atcha says:

    “…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…”
    The MOST powerful man on the planet? REALLY? The one who bows down to dictators? The one who couldn’t find his way to the travel agency for ANY of his vacations, so he uses the taxpayer vacation assistance hotline…
    I’m guessing the editors see no bias in a line like that; in yet another story about Obummer’s money grab and travel on the taxpayer tab…

  32. tom henningsgard says:

    Why do heir’s of wealth creators become democrats? Is it they just don’t have to think… about earning money any longer?

    Democrats should want entrepreneurs to create great wealth, then they could count on the non-thinking offspring to become democrats.

  33. Cogito says:

    “Et Tu Brute? Then falls, Ceasar.”

  34. Shell says:

    I wonder if the pizza toppings will meet with Michelle’s rules and the school lunch guidelines? It won’t matter to me, no more Pizza!Pizza! in THIS household.

  35. dagger says:

    once again BO does as he pleases with utter contempt for the general public…..POS

  36. Sophie says:

    Ceasar’s pizza will NEVER come in this house again!!! I hope Obummer is worth it!!!!

  37. Just a Guy says:

    Man, Little Seizures on a silver plate? More appropriate on a paper plate, and barely that.

    That stuff sux! How can Moochelle allow such a thing?

  38. sui winn says:

    I would NEVER even walk across the street to see the egomanic,
    He is destroying our Country. Guess this is another rich family that
    FORGOT how they made their money. Total stupid to host a man – who stated BEFORE HE RAN==HOW HE DISLIKED THIS COUNTRY & PROUD THEY HAD BEEN TO MANY FLAG BURNNING. ETC. YUK

  39. SJ says:

    No more Little Caesars’ Pizza for this household.

  40. Roger Keffler says:

    NOTE TO SELF: I will no longer allow Little Caesar’s pizza to be purchased at our school events since they are throwing our money to Obama. Instead, I will use my position of power to ensure the funds end up else where. :)

  41. DrBen says:

    Little C’s pizza is worse than a frozen pizza. Let’s see a family worth billions, is trying to hustle a million bucks for Obama. Wouldn’t it be better to simply write a check?

  42. doodybubble says:

    Little Seizures can kiss my business GOOOBYE.

  43. P.S. says:

    Easy on Little Ceasars she has nothing to with the family businesses. She has a jewerly line and that magazine Ambaasador so if your going boycott her thats her businesses. And changes are that you can’t afford the jewerly and the magazine is all about expensive stuff you cant afford either. But the magizine all ways has photos of shacker and movers from detriot and all round this way the pictures for the June issue will have meaning I see it as a way to promote her magizine.. This post is from a broke reiative of hers Yah her parents (total Republ ican and problemty not happy that she hosting this eveent) ones with all the stuff everyone is talking smack about and want to boycott she has nothing to do with The Wings, Tiges, casino Little Ceasars But why I ‘m posting is to proclaim her as The Dutchess Of Detriot Spread the word

  44. Chuy says:

    WHO needed yet another reason to hate Little Caesar’s nasty pizza …. it’s GROSS !!!

  45. DaPower says:

    “one wonders if Romney knows any pizza chain owners who might want to hold a pizza party for him too.”

    Noooo…actually I was wondering if this reporter, Carol Cain, is as brain-cell deficient as this article makes her out to be!

  46. tom says:

    I will not buy another one. This must be payback form an exemtion form the healthcare mandate. I wonder of they received one for their business’s

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