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. Beth

    If the Ayers' issue is fair game..... maybe abortion should also be publicly discussed – in a second debate between Palin and Biden. Unless of course, McCain is afraid to let Palin be part of a second debate.

    Palin recently attacked Obama on the abortion issue, saying he is extreme That is first of all not true.

    But what about Palin? She is indeed extreme: 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.

    October 15, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. A Woman In California For Obama:

    Roland YOU ARE SIMPLY THE BEST. BETTER THAN ALL THE REST! You tell it as it should be told. What you said last night about "free Sarah" is true. If all the news organizations would stop broadcasting her rallies, I guarantee you she would give an interview. They should just ignore her as she has RUN from you for fear of showing greater ignorance (if that is possible).

    CNN, I am still waiting your coverage on Palin's witch doctor minister. You had no problem running Rev. Wright 24/7. Keep giving Palin special treatment and see how high Obama's numbers continue to climb. People don't like it.

    October 15, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. just annoyed

    You all are idiots on here. We are Americans and everyone can read all of the garbage you are putting on here. So I see there is someone from Germany, who else is looking at what fools we are.

    As for tonight!

    Obama needs to come across as solid, address the issues of his birth, his attachment to ACORN, his connection with Ayres and put that to bed, truthfully and honestly. He needs to show that he is an American and ready to lead, with the respect of this entire country. He needs to show that he doesn't listen to the old ridiculous statements of Jessie Jackson and how we aren't going to help Israel, our only true ally in that part of the world. Much of what either side is committing to may not happen, but when we turn on that TV or listen to that Radio or watch the web in February whoever is elected better be there for America, not just all of you, but everyone.

    As for McCain, he needs to do well tonight, show that he too is an American, that he can command respect of everyone. Don't mock this man who sat in a POW camp for us, and don't demean Sarah Palin either. She did do alot of Alaska, I know Alaskans that respect her and have benefited from her decisions. She is just green in this type of spotlight, like Obama was when he ran for Senator, but that was easier than being on a Presidential Ticket.

    What I want all of you to do tonight is listen, this is your future, all of you Americans. For your children, for their children, and yes vote, whatever way you want to vote, but do so to state your opinion.

    Don't demean our country, this for many of us is the only place that we are able to live in peace.

    October 15, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. spell

    Anybody else notice that none of the McLame supporters can spell or string together a coherent series of words? Coincidence? I think not.

    October 15, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. danlyn

    Who cares??
    Hangs out with terrorists, hangs out in churches with Rev Wright,
    Who helped him buy his house, a convicted felon? Was a lawyer and trainer for Acorn...I don't care..I do care he LIED about it..wake up you starry-eyed dopes..
    You NOBAMA lovers spend your time bashing Mcain, shouldn't you be working? o thats right, you are waiting for your check you think NOBAMA will give you..AKA Robin Hood take from the rich give to the poor..lazy people love NOBAMA..be careful what you wish for..
    Sarah Palin has more experience than NOBAMA, something you kool-aid drinkers don't want to talk about

    October 15, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. NoTrustInPolitics

    If McCain brings us Ayers tonight, he is in for more than a K.O. I'd predict broken bones, if we are in that analogy. Go Obama! (holy... I used an exclamation point)

    October 15, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Nevada MOM

    The debate tonight is supposed to center around domestic policy. Certainly, the moderator will bring up the economy, as will the candidates. Of course, that is the topic we all want to hear about.

    If McCain is fool enough to take the bait set out for him by the Obama camp, I guess we really will have an analysis of whether or not McCain is the war-strategiest that he claims to be. How do you let your opponent control the pace of the election, the tone of the debates, and the media???
    Here is the answer: whether you like it or not, Obama has proven himself to be the superior leader in this campaign cycle. McCain has been out-maneuvered at every turn, since the time Hillary officially left the race.
    McCain likes to fancy himself a battle-born maverick, able to detect the enemy's intentions and snuff them out before they can do damage.
    That's what he wanted to run on, right? The war president?
    Well, Senator McCain, unfortuantely, when you can't even win the battle for presidency, it's clear you are the wrong man to be commander in chief.

    October 15, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Big D

    Yes, Ayers got the citizen of the year award in Chicago, and promptly took his picture standing on the American flag. Sounds like he's changed a bunch. And he didn't just protest in the 60's, he bombed government buildings.

    October 15, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. GARY

    CNN IS A BIAS STINKEN MEDIA. GAVE OBAMA A FREE RIDE THROUGH THIS WHOLE RACE.WONT TAKE MY COMMENTS IF THEY DONT PRAISE OBAMA. YOU STINKEN NAIVE OBAMA SUPPORTERS FULL OF HATE WILL FIND THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT YOUR CANIDATE WHEN ITS TO LATE. THIS HAS BEEN A FIXED RACE FROM THE BEGINING. EVERYTME OBAMA GETS CAUGHT IN CORRUPTION LIKE ACORN AND SEVERAL OTHER ISSUES,HE BACKS AWAY SAYING HE KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT IT. HE IS A BIG JOKE.YOU MORONS BETTER START WORRYING ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY INSTEAD OF A GLAMOUR MEDIA CLOWN. WE MAY NOT HAVE A COUNTRY TO WORRY ABOUT.OBAMA BEING ELECTED WILL BE THE WORST DISASTER SINCE 911. THAT IS THE FACTS.

    October 15, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Rolanda from Memphis, TN

    blacks are racist? Not for voting for Obama. It's been ok for blacks to vote for whites for years but its not ok to support a black man? Please!

    October 15, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. glenn

    Roland, I really thank Michael Steele, Colin Powell and other Black
    Republicans, are really being wasted in the GOP. Is there one Black
    member of the Republican party in Congress. How can any Black per-
    son with an ounce of grey matter, support the republican party. That
    party is not the party of Lincoln. Even most democrats that supported
    president Bush are realizing the mistake they made in 2004, it is just a
    same that so many great American soldiers had to pay with their lives
    and bodies. . .

    October 15, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Viet Vet

    Gerri- -That would be Sugar Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran

    October 15, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. mfc6506

    I'm an enthusiastic Obama supporter encouraging my fellow Obama supporters to not allow our confidence in a victory replace our duty to vote for the Obama/Biden ticket. Back in the day, Carter lost a huge lead to Reagan, Dukakis lost his lead to Bush 41 (even with Quayle as VP...remind you of anyone), and Gore lost his lead to Bush 43 going into the presidential election. Let's keep our confidence and take it right along with us into the voting booth to cast a vote for Obama/Biden. And while we're at it - each one, bring one or two or three, etc., registered voters, that is, with us to cast a vote for Obama/Biden too. LET'S VOTE EARLY FOR OBAMA/BIDEN AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO THE SAME.

    October 15, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. democrat no matter what

    General Election 2008:

    Obama/Biden = 400 + Electoral Votes

    October 15, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  15. Liz

    Go get him tonight Barack! I sure hope McCain gets all caught up in ranting about Ayers and ACORN since both are such ridiculous NON issues. You will stay calm and collected, and he will continue to fray and twitch because he can't scream out the hate we all know he is dying to let out.

    October 15, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  16. spell

    I rest my case on danlyn's post.

    October 15, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Cathy 48 and white - Pennsylvania

    Marie.............you sure do sound like a right wing Christian conservative , you sure are a hateful bunch, typical of the McCain /Palin ticket which spews hate and racism....Boy, am I glad I'm not one of your kind.........Suck it up girl, your team is going to lose on November 4th........

    October 15, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. Viet Vet

    Danlyn- -WHATEVER

    October 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  19. AZ for Obama

    Duck Mr. McCain!

    HERE COMES THE ROPE-A-DOPE!

    Forgive me . . . but I wish Sarah was in the ring for this punishment too!

    October 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  20. happy in houston

    A new day is dawning and what a day it will be. Poor Mclame will loose the election... and a pile of investments... through his own incompetence.

    October 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. mms

    one thing should be very clear to mccain by now,and that is Obama is no fool!Go for it mccain make my day!

    October 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  22. Ralph

    Sssshhhh.... it's McCain's nap time.

    October 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  23. Beth

    If the Ayers' issue is fair game, maybe abortion should be discussed as well…. in a second debate between Palin and Biden.

    Palin recently attacked Obama on the abortion issue.

    But what Palin did not mention during her attack, was the fact that 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. This is something Palin also failed to mention while attacking Obama

    October 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    ***************CNN PLEASE POST MY COMMENT********************

    Hey, now, folks, I know we want Sen. OBAMA to "pulverize the old fool"..... but, that's just NOT how Sen. Obama is!

    Sen. Obama has demonstrated over and over that he IS a gentleman!
    Compared to grouchy McCain who would not even look at Sen. Obama during the first debate. And who rushed out in the second debate, after spending the debate pacing nervously.

    @ CHRISTINE K: this morning I blogged about Ayers! WILL YOU STOP ALREADY...... ITS A NONE ISSUE!

    AYERS WAS NEVER PROSECUTED.

    AYERS SERVED ON THE ANNENBERG BOARD FOR EDUCATION WITH SEN. OBAMA, AND MANY OTHER PEOPLE..... WHO IN FACT ARE ........REPUBLICANS!

    PLEASE AMERICA REJECT THE LIES, FEAR AND HATE BEING SPEWED BY THE REPUBLICANS! WE ARE SO SICK OF THEIR VILE POLITICS!

    October 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  25. AJ

    "he has nothing to lose. Obama's cool charisma is nothing but ARROGANCE! He's a second George Bush"

    Did someone really say this? Obama=Bush??
    -one minute he is the most liberal Senator the next he is Bush
    -one minute he belongs to Rev Wright's crazy church- the next he is muslim
    -one minute he's going to raise your taxes- the next he can't pay for tax cuts

    Conservatives are just throwing crap at a wall and hoping it sticks, and the thought Democrats could make the economy worse... LOL is silly.

    October 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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