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. SalBal

    I think I will stay up tonight (London-UK) with the most memorable months with Financial Meltdown, I would not miss a match like Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman – I just watched on YouTube I was only 8 – I hope it is as good.

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

    Dude! is right, there are alot of undiscussed stories floating around out there, some very suspiciously being covered up. On any other day the media would be all over these. Just google these names: "Larry Sinclair", "Donald Young", "Jerome Corsi", to name a few. And yes, Obama camp DID give over 800,000 to ACORN to register new democratic voters.

    October 15, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. Shalom from Israel

    "Barack" comes from the Hebrew word for 'lightning.' Israel show your support for Obama!!

    October 15, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. jen

    The campaign of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said the Alaska governor was unaware of a visit by Russian energy officials to Anchorage on Monday.

    The GOP incompetents should not get another chance to ruin our fine country further.

    October 15, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. j morris, oregon

    I just want to see a knock out of McPalin – lets get this over with and try to move on.

    October 15, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. CAROLYN

    I HOPE TONIGHTS DEBATE IS FARE TO SEN OBAMA, BECAUSE THE LAST DEBATE TOM BROKAW DID'NT GIVE SEN OBAMA THE SAME TIME AS HE GAVE SEN MCCAINBUSH WE TIMED THEM. AND THE MODERATOR FOR TONIGHT B.SHEFER IS DIRTY TO

    October 15, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOBAMA

    STICK IT TO HIM THE OLD ONE TWO

    October 15, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. Pua, HI

    WOW "Christiane in Germany" staying up til 3am to watch the debate!

    The world is watching and hoping for Obama's win and the change.

    Greetings to you, Christiane. I am originally from Germany, having lived here in the US for the past 18 years. It is my home now. I will watch the debate at 3pm Hawaii Time, a more convenient time :)

    October 15, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Ottawa

    PLEASE GO OUT AN VOTE EARLY IF YOU CAN!

    VOTE EARLY...VOTE NOW IF YOU CAN...

    NOV 4TH LINES WILL BE WAY TOO LONG SO VOTE EARLY!

    October 15, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Big D

    Nobama has never led anything or anybody and now you want him to be the leader of the free world? This person has done nothing to prove to me that he cares about anyone but himself. He cares more about Africa and ending world poverty than he does America. Fact: he is a liar. Fact: All the major influences in his life hate America. Socialism is on deck with communism in the hole. I swear, if y'all had a brain, you'd take it out and play with it.

    Change – Be careful what you wish for.

    But I'm sure after 4 years (if he's still in office) the dumbocrats will blame it on the "failed policies of the previous 8 years."

    October 15, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. 52 yr. old white Houston oil man

    Wow, North Dakota turning blue. Next is Texas.

    October 15, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. Terri, Atlanta

    I hope Mr. Obama brings it up first – Ayers – and shocks old Mcinsane and keeps him off kilter the rest of the night.

    October 15, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. White Christian Mother for Obama

    IF McCain brings up Ayers.... he is in for a SURPRISE!!

    I dont think McCain has really read anything about Ayers.

    Sure he was part of a protester radical Group in the 60s! MANY Teens and Young Adults were!! BUT what has he accomplished now?? People change. How many in the Peace time 60s smoked dope and did Acid? MANY MANY MANY!!

    Should we always be judged on what we DID? Or what we have BECOME inspite of what we did in the past??

    Did we stop the dope? Did we stop protesting and move on? Doing good in our lives or did we stay in that rut??

    Ayres is and elementary education theorist. he is in Educational REFORM.

    He is NOW a PROFESSOR at a College!!

    holding the titles of DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR of EDUCATION and Senior University Scholar.

    One of Three Authors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge grant proposal that won 49.2 Million dollars over 5 years of public school reform

    Board member of Woods fund of Chicago an anti-proverty philanthropic foundation

    Chicago awarded him CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD

    I think this guy has well established himself and better himself for the good of the AMerican People. He has PAID his debt to Society.. and If I was to be his friend NOW??? I probably would!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 15, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    DONT FORGET TO VOTE!!!

    October 15, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. How did Obama get this far????

    Beat him down and then ask him

    WHERE IS THE AMERICANS TAX FREE GAS HOLIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. Chip

    Or, maybe Obama will be expecting one thing and will be blindsided.

    October 15, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. Fawn

    This is the debate not to miss!

    October 15, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. silence is golden

    McCain is getting better i just hope he doesn't win :(
    that would really be bad
    Go Obama you can win this
    please win

    October 15, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  19. COOLAID DRINKERS

    MMMMMM....Good coolaid. Before you swallow the next sip, I think you should consider the facts. It's not just that he "hung out" with a a guy that tried to take down the government, he did his bidding. What do you think Obama did while he served on 2 boards with Ayers? He funded Ayers leftist programs and diverted the foundations' money to extremist organizations. Why do you think Ayers resigned while Obama was on the board? Because they knew they were funding his programs directly and it was a conflict. Besides Obama could be counted on to steer the money to Ayers. And as for education reform, not one dime of the$50 million from the Annenberg challenge went to the Chicago public schools. It went to Ayer's leftist alternative schools whose admitted sole purpose is to radicalize students, not teach them to read or write. Is that what you want for your kids? As for Wright, he sat in a pew for 20 years with that guy spewing hate and intolerance. You can't tell me that he didn't agree. His silence gives consent. And $800,000 to ACORN which is at the heart of the Fannie & Freddie mess through its strong arm tactics to force lenders to give loans to people in poor neighborhoods who couldn't afford it. America is about creating opportunity, not guaranteeing everyone the same things in life. If you want someone who is going to push socialist agendas, Obama's your guy. He doesn't have much of a record, so you have to look at what he did and who he did it with. Stop buying the 20 second sound bites the media is feeding you and do your homework. This is a very serious time and calls for serious thinking not glib sayings.

    October 15, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. OLD GOLD Spgr 98

    Time has come for Mc Cain to get his butt knock-out. Im tired of all trash talking with McCain/Palin. Lets nip this in the bud tonite with a TKO, Yeah, Roland please give to that guy Sean Hannity from FOX NEWS. Do he had black people that much. He's a HATER!

    SOUTH CAROLINA LOVES OBAMA-BIDEN 08

    October 15, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. OMG

    Mccain says Ayers is terrorist, but that guy seems to be roaming in the streets free and working as a professor in a college, wait a minute, am confused, a terrorist can live in this country but nobody should talk. crazy

    October 15, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. paulie_nj

    who wants to bet CNN and MSNBC will declare Obama the winner and FOX News will declare McCain the winner?

    October 15, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. Derek Zimmerman

    Mr. Martin:

    Great analogy. McCain certainly is on the ropes. As for comparing Obama to Ali, the analogy may be more similar to Rocky. But never mind, its ends well in the end!

    October 15, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Roger

    Guys, let's be serious John McCain is nothing but "the same old politics with the same failed policies""

    Obama/Biden 2008

    Let's go!!

    October 15, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Has McCain ever shown any respect while debating McCain, well don't expect any surprises this time. McCain has already claimed he is going to kick Obama's you know what, so go figure.

    October 15, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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