October 15th, 2008
08:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Martin: Obama is setting up McCain for the political rope-a-dope

Martin: Obama is setting up McCain for a knockout blow.

Martin: Obama is setting up McCain for a knockout blow.

(CNN) - Muhammad Ali was not only a great boxer, but an awesome tactician.

Remember the fight against George Foreman in Zaire? My man damn near went to sleep on the ropes as Foreman flailed away, using his energy to pound away at Ali. And at the right time, the Greatest of All Time started blasting away, eventually knocking Foreman out.

That's exactly what Sen. Barack Obama is doing to Sen. John McCain.

At no time during the Democratic primary has Obama tried to pick a fight. So when he told ABC last week that when it came to bringing up 1960s radical Bill Ayers on the campaign trail, McCain "wasn't willing to say it to my face," I instantly saw it as Obama throwing down the gauntlet.

Knowing full well that the senior senator from Arizona has a hot temper, he couldn't resist the bait.

"He has probably ensured that it will come up this time," McCain told a Missouri radio station.

And by doing so tonight, Obama will be ready to pounce.

I debated conservative Michael Steele last night at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, N.C., and he said McCain should stay focused on the issues. I concur.

By bringing up an issue voters don't care about, McCain will alienate independents, and make it easier for Obama to appeal to them.

If it happens, just watch Obama pound away at McCain, just like Ali did to Foreman.

soundoff (1,160 Responses)
  1. Pro

    Soon Alaska will have 6 months of darkness and McCain and Palin can both go into the long night!

    October 15, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. Nando, Florida

    Mccain is to dumb to understand what Obama has set him up for. This was a set up from day one When Last week at a Rally Joe Biden called out JOHN MCCAIN by telling him if you have something to say to a man say it to his face, Of course the RUSH LIMBAGHS, AND HANNITYS pushed him into a CORNER so now he has to save Face with the RIGHT WING NUTS in his party to avoid looking like he is not like them. OBAMA is just waiting for him to SAY THE WORDS WILLIAM AYERS , AND THATS WHEN THE RIGHT HAND LEAD IS COMING FROM OBAMA with KEATING FIVE, ALL HIS SHADY LOBBYISTS , AND MR LIDDY, AND COUNTLESS OTHERS . MCCAIN WILL EXPLODE !!!!!!!!!!! ON NATIONAL TELEVISION WHILE BARAK IS JUST LAUGHING AT HIM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SAYING this guy is to easy .

    AFTER TONIGHT MCCAIN will be done !!!!

    WATCH AND SEE !!!!


    October 15, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. Katrina

    Christine K, have you been paying attention to any of the readers' comments on any of the articles addressing the Ayers "issue"? We ARE doing our own research on Ayers, which is apparently more than you're doing. Listening to what your party says and believing every lie =/= research. For example, to quote someone, oh... five comments above you:

    "Ayers was on a board that was picked by a Republican and a good friend of Reagin"

    Oh look, research. Into Ayers. That doesn't seem to make Obama look especially bad. Hmm. And taking a look at the comment FOUR comments above you... why don't some people do some research on the fact that one of the men McCain CURRENTLY has ON HIS TEAM was lobbying for Saddam in the middle of the war? Or that Palin's husband was a member of an anti-American radical group that hates America wanted Alaska to break away from the United States?

    It's a bad sign when the intelligent members of your party, including lifelong Republicans, begin switching sides because your conduct is so low and shameful. Obama is going up and up in the polls, and it's not hard to figure out why: you just have to listen to McCain and Palin talk, and use your head.

    October 15, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Rick from Illinois

    Madeline says...Obama dared McCain to ask him about Ayers but I bet if McCain brings it up Obama will turn around and criticize MCain for it. I hope McCain doesn't take the bait. Rev. Wright was right about Obama…..he is a true politician. McCain really needs to remind people that we don't want a situation where we have a Democratic President with a Democratic controlled House. Obama, Pelosi, and Reid with no supervision….that is plain scary...

    No Madeline, you, and the old goat running for President and the want to be politician, running for VP is not just plain scary, but extremely scary!! Get over it! GO OBAMA/BIDEN 2008

    October 15, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Cindy from NC

    veteran for obama – YOU ARE SO RIGHT... I would love that. Tell the American people something about me that I didnt. That was the best part of 8 mile...


    October 15, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Laszlo in L.A.

    Ayers is only a lightning rod for people who never liked Obama to begin with. "He's not one of us" and "I don't trust him" seem to be code words for something else. Just say what you feel and stop pretending you think Obama is a Muslim, a foreigner or friends with terrorists.

    October 15, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. McShame

    I Love it!!!! hehe

    October 15, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. Gregg - Florida

    Roland: when is Palin going to talk about this AIG scandal? seems she endorsed them in a video for there convention this year, and she attended a AIG convention in 2006, this needs to be investigated NOW,,to wake her followers up out of thisa spell she has on them..........

    October 15, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. bj in ny

    Obama should talk about Sarah Palin's secessionist ties.

    October 15, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. Lu

    It's not just Ayers; it's Wright, Rezko, what Jessie Jackson recently said about policy change with Israel if Obama has his way, and his ties to Kenya and Indonesia. Voters care about this because we care about the security of this nation. No one has proven they care more about this nation than John McCain. Too bad so many of the bloggers on this site have such disdain and lack of respect for him. Quite frankly, I believe it's due to their lack of respect for the wisdom of the elderly. Give them another 20 or 30 years and these youngsters will realize (I can hope) what fools they have been.

    October 15, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. paul

    Steve from dallas wrote:
    "Lets see, a person who tries to push their politcial agenda by threat intimidation or force… yep thats what AYERS did in the 1970's. And that makes AYERS a TERRORIST by definition."

    By that definition the U.S. government and their corporate buddies are the biggest terrorist organization on the planet.

    October 15, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. j

    Maybe or maybe not. I think Ayers is a non-issue and a waste of time discussing, especially at a debate where there is so little time to discuss issues. Wright is also a non-issue, as is Acorn. So I think McCain would be an idiot to bring it up when people are gaging how presidential the candidate appears. McCain can't beat Obama when it comes to charisma or style so he might be better off in just going for dignified and stately.

    October 15, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Lynda Jones-Owings

    I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is beautiful, our country is coming together as a whole. This is beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am getting ready for the rumble in the jungle! Debate party is on!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Hannibal

    We have to keep pushing, right up to Nov. 4. This race is much closer then you think. The polls have no way of accounting for the "Bradley Effect" [the percentage of white people who support Obama but can't bring themself to vote for a black man.] Don't laugh, its for real.

    October 15, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Brenda

    I am so disgusted and insulted by Sarah Palin's exploitation of her son, Trig, for campaign benefit. I know and love children with Down's Syndrome and they are ultimately sweet and loving. How could she do this? It shows her real character...just horrible and self-centered, despite the fact that she is not qualified nor carries the ideals of the populous America.

    October 15, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Sandra Millard

    Obama’s socialistic ideas scare me to death. I lived in Europe from 1990 to 2000 and most of the people I knew well paid for private health insurance and were very dissatisfied with the quality of public health care. Obama may hurt the people who create the jobs. Most people need a job. They aren’t able to create a job for themselves. There is a need for incentives for those who can and will create jobs in the right environment. I’ve been self-employed and I’ve worked for others. Running a business was more satisfying, but I must admit I lost sleep more often than when I worked for others. I have great respect for the people who create jobs. I think Obama will quash their initiative.

    October 15, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. MikeH

    All Obvama has to do is stand there.

    McCain will punch himself in the face like he has been doing the last two weeks.

    Obama can then administer first aid to McCain for his self-inflicted wounds.

    The Sarah Palin Cancer would require amputation though.

    October 15, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Lisa

    20 more days and this circus is over. McCain is a liar and should be exposed as such!!! Please take Gomer Pyle in heels back to where she belongs, but maybe they don't want her there either!!!!

    October 15, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. John Blaser

    McCain won't have to bring it up. Scheiffer will do it for him, like the good little lapdog the media has been to the Repubs all along. So the voters will see the boogy-man McCain wants them to see, without having to bring up the topic himself. Perfect.

    October 15, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Sandra

    Oh come on, give some credit to McCain. He had to find someone dumber than himself, and he succeeded admirably in finding Palin

    October 15, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. rafael

    so if by any reason Mr macain win tonite then the american peoples will
    go and vote for him and not Obama?????
    nothing can!t stop Obama,Obama is Already the new prersident in november Obama will win by 20% or more,Mr Macain is not the Man today
    to beat Obama i can even say that rightnow there is not a person in the united state of america that can beat obama,since Obama came to the picture i new that not body will beat him NOT BODY/NOT BODY,the only peoples that don!t agree with me are peoples that you can tell don!t see blacks with the same respect as some others race,it!s imposible IMPOSIBLE for Mr Mcain to be the next president HE DOSEN!T LOOK LIKE A PRESIDENT.

    October 15, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. Jessica

    Love it! What you sow so shall you reap.

    McCain/Palin makes me throw up in my mouth a little!

    One has bad ideas and the other...no ideas at all.

    Palin taints women's progress...

    Vote Nov. 4th for progress!

    October 15, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. Enlightened Voter

    mccain and palin will get just what they deserve...it's called Karma.

    October 15, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Former Republican for OBAMA




    October 15, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. Stay on guard!!!

    Always expect the unexpected after all your dealing with a schizophrenic
    campaign capable of trying anything to win and undoubtedly will

    October 15, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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