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. Terry

    I agree. Especially after Biden continued the baiting yesterday. Gov. Palin has helped Obama by helping to set up McCain.

    October 15, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Let me just say, if McCain attacks Barrack's patriotism , Not only will it be a knock out, but it will be, putting his foot on his throat and stomping him into submission!!, I believe nothing get's Obama stirred up more than McCain and Gov. know nothing Palin questioning that. Also, will Pailn be talking to anybody but Sean insanity Hannity tonight. This is the real reason he will lose this election, the very stupid pick of this woman, I can't stand to her her talk, because you know she is fed everything she says.

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

    Thank You Roland. The box is open for McCain to walk in and he doesn't know it yet. It's ANVIL TIME...

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

    To everyone who never made any mistake, you may cast the first stone. Barack Obama is just as you are: human .

    October 15, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. Jen, Gainesville

    Martin, why are you spilling the beans and warn McCain?

    October 15, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. Steven

    Bring it on McCain!!! We dare you to bring up Ayers.
    I bet if McCain does fall for it, his poll numbers will plunge even further.

    I almost feel sorry for McCain.

    Obama08!

    October 15, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. Peter in Virginia

    About ACORN...why does CNN not bring up the fact that on Feb 2006 McCain was the keynote speaker at an ACORN event and praised them for all the good they do?

    October 15, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. Salsaluver

    BO is to intelligent to feed in Mc-Insane BS.

    Barack continue playing you're winning game. Don't stoop down to Mc-Clown's level.

    October 15, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. Dodo

    No matter what happens tonight, Obama & Biden have already won 3. Tonight can be the clincher!

    October 15, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. New Civil War has begun

    Hooray for socialism! The breadlines start "HERE!"

    October 15, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. scoot

    Obama is still a empty suite and More like Bush then McCain. just look at the facts. He is also the Typical polition.

    October 15, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. FJ from Atlanta

    I cannot wait for this. I hope Obma knock him out.

    October 15, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. Renee Las Vegas

    Obama has stuff to bring up about McCain.....Keating etc. thats why Mccains been a bit shy. But this will give Obama a chance to fire back!
    Watch!

    October 15, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  14. Michael

    Float like a butterfly, sting like a Bee.

    RUMBLE YOUNG MAN, RUMBLE!!

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

    I think we all are sick of Roland Martins racism....

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

    I have been waiting for mc cain to loose his cool. if obama plays his cards right he can make mc goo loose it. that would be a sight to see. obama could bring up enough stuff on mc cain to sink him like the titanic if he wanted to play real dirty.

    October 15, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  17. 08 Year of Change

    Tonight is the night.

    October 15, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. Beth

    Palin attacked Obama on the abortion issue, saying he is too far to the left. That is first of all not true.

    But what about Palin? She is extreme – to the right – she does not support abortion even in the cases of rape or incest!

    And McCain on his website has said that he will try to undo Roe v. Wade.

    People: don't be fooled by these two.

    Maybe abortion should also be publicly discussed – in a second debate between Palin and Biden. Unless of course, McCain is afraid to let Palin speak "unsupervised"

    October 15, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. Boye

    As much as I want a knockout by Obama, you all are going to be disappointed. This debate is going to be just like the other, slight advantage Obama.

    October 15, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  20. Vernon

    McCain predicts he's going to whip Obama's little "you-know-what." Really McBush? (Ahem, McCain), what was your excuse in the last two debates? Sure the last two debates were in a tightly controlled environment, but certainly if you have the experience and the know-how you so blatantly tout, then you certainly will have no problem out-conversing a junior senator from Illinois. Look McCain–Obama's smarter, quicker on his feet, more knowledgeable, likeable, more trusted, more revered, and apparently more popular than you. After you lose tonight, please concede. Your a good man, hero, and all that but right now Obama's the right man for the job and ready to be our next President.

    Obama-Biden '08

    October 15, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. j morris, oregon

    I hope your right Roland :) If so, it will once again prove the McCain is not fit to lead. If his selection of Gov Palin didn't prove it to most intelligent Americans, this will.

    October 15, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. Dan

    What kind of fool announces his debate strategy ahead of time?

    John "Insane in the Membrane" McCain is not losing it. He's lost it!!

    October 15, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. Jerry, Illinois

    Donald Trump just said on CNN with Wolf Blitzer that Sarah
    Palin is ready to lead this country on the Economy.
    His hair must have gotten in the way of his eyesight.

    October 15, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. Jocely

    John McCain is fighting a battle with a Boxer that has five arms:
    1 Economy
    2 Two terms in power republican has no chance
    3 The republican brand is so chip people are not buying
    4 Unfortunately for McCain the republican base don’t want to higher McCain as salesman
    5 Running against an opponent that never done before

    October 15, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  25. Barret Graf

    Obama is outpoliticizing McCain. How did this happen? What a race!!

    October 15, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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