October 15th, 2008
08:30 PM ET
6 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. Mac Kane

    Ayers is somehting no one cares about......what a shame our moral character has sunk so low. When Obama invites him to the White House will Ayers bring some explosives?

    October 15, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. soccer moms for obama

    go get mcbush and put him to shame for a disgusting campaign. the worst was the pick of palin.

    go obama

    October 15, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. LEAVE SARAH ALONE!

    Once again the Godless Dems attack a fine Christian like Senatar McCain who is trying to save us from socialistic terror and Russia!!!!!!!!! We will pray that John and beautiful Sarah are victorious they have God on there side!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. James

    if mccain goes negative at the debate, he'll be showing that is all he's got. Palin is already doing it, proving that she is a lightweight after all.

    Where is the straight talk?
    Where is the plan for today's and tomorrow's emergencies?
    Where is the steady hand?

    October 15, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. Cindy, CA

    McCain is suffering from a bruised ego syndrome that conceals a caustically disgruntled attitude as though it is a badge of honor. His lifelong "ambition to be President" is being swept from his grasp by a young, energetic, intelligent, stately presence in "That One." Oops, sorry Johnny, you're not 'that One' we are electing this time around.

    I believe Obama will maintain his dignity, and if McCain decides to explore the dark recesses of ignorance rolling around in the empty caverns of his own head and campaign strategy.... Obama will deftly level the playing field, and then go on to address the real issues that most concern the majority.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 15, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. Peggy

    For the 100th time,God does not like ugly. McCain claims to be close to God yet, he went ugly, very, very,ugly. Both he and Pailin must pay the price. He will be brave. He will try to be respectful and likeable but the deed is already done!

    October 15, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. 12 HOUSES to 0

    MCSLEAZY WANTS OBAMA TO GET DOWN TO HIS LEVEL.

    THAT DEAR AMERICANS WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

    October 15, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. clslater

    Democrats document your vote! Take a picture of your drivers license next to your ballot so there will be a record.Not another 2000.

    October 15, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. Docb

    Mccain announced he was bringing up the Ayers comment-He set himself up...Strange that an old 'soldier' would tell his opponent what his strategy is going to be!!! But then again his temper is a problem....

    October 15, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. Marc

    All this overconfidence from Obama supporters has the flavor of Dewey-Truman in 1948. Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

    Rasmussen only has Obama up 50-45 and there's still 3 weeks left. Don't count your chickens liberals!

    October 15, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. Colony14Author, Mt Prospect, IL

    It's a shame Obama and his leftist buddies can't deal with the truth. But wait until Obama's money-man, Tony "the fxer" Rezko, finishes "singing" to the federal prosecutor in Chicago. Let's see Obama rope-a-dope his way out of an indictment and deportation back to Indoinesia.

    October 15, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. Matt Will, W-S N.C.

    THIS IS ROUND 3. KNOCK OUT TIME!!!!!!! MCCAIN IS OUT OF HERE.

    October 15, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. Allen Hussein

    Down goes Frazier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  14. Joel Miller

    Roland Martin, you are hitting the nail on the head. But whether or not Obama KOs McCain, the insistence of the McCain to talk about issues no one cares about in this election, namely Ayers, Acorn, Abortion the more irrelevant he makes himself.

    October 15, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. rb

    u are an idiot

    October 15, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. Pam

    You go Obama! I'm just hoping to see McCain lose his infamous horrible temper...and lose! Knock that old man out!!!

    October 15, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Edward

    The election for all intents and purposes is over. We can thank the following people:

    George Bush
    Dick Cheney
    John McCain
    Cindy McCain
    Bristol Palin
    Sarah Palin
    Todd Palin
    Sean Hannity
    Michael Savage
    and every single right wing wacko who doesn't know anything about anything.

    October 15, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. REG in AZ

    Ayers, Jesse Jackson, Rev. Wright, Muslim, non-citizen, or anything else McCain (& Palin) try to use to distract attention from their own short-comings and/or to discredit Obama will be seen for what they are, simple smoke screens of little importance offered for them to hide behind and to disguise the reality of the McCain-Palin failure to have real answers for the real problems. The Palin bold dishonesty and the McCain constant jumping around aren't swaying the majority of people, in fact it is turning them off as they are concerned for honest and real answers.

    October 15, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Sue

    I will not vote for 4 more years of negativeness and division.

    October 15, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. karl r

    If McCain is foolish enough (like his selection of the dumbo VP candidate) to bring up Ayers in this debate, Obama should thrash him!

    October 15, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. Mary (Texas)

    You people are CRUEL. Why worry about other countries attacking us when we have people like you in our faces!!!

    October 15, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. NK

    Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!

    We support you and hope you will fight for the truth and work to favor the people of America and not just Corporate interest.

    Go buddy! I think you have already won it :-)

    October 15, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. karl r

    If McCain is foolish enough (like his selection of the dumbo VP candidate) to bring up Ayers in this debate, Obama should thrash him!!

    October 15, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. welches, Oregon

    and this is why I want Obama to be the next – Our Next – POTUS. A brilliant man with savy and tactics. I pity any country that wants to make enemies of the USA after Obama takes over.

    Go Barack and Joe!

    October 15, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  25. Karla

    NAH, NAH, NAH, NAH....HEY, HEY, HEY GOODBYE! Go Obama.

    October 15, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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