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. Penlanta Properties

    Registration Fraud? Why not comment on the environment that McCain is creating and most importantly NOT stopping death threats to Obama? What kind of president would McCain make if he can't even call the Secret Service out to stop death threats to his opponent?
    Look at history:
    These are the kind of tactics that Hitler used leading up to the Holocaust.

    October 15, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  2. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Well, should be interesting to see if McCain gets a chance to somehow work in anything on Ayers or Rev Wright. Both of whom don't have anything to do with the election. How many of you have sat through sermon after sermon from any minister and actually literaly take in what they say? If you do then you are sheep.

    October 15, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  3. Michael in Arkansas - vote McCain-Palin!!

    I still can't believe that my fellow Americans are still falling for Obama's lies. If that idiot does make it to the White House, I sure don't want to hear any of you complain about how horrible this country gets later on. Haven't you all noticed that he can't even hardly speak if he doesn't have his trusty teleprompter in front of him!! Good grief....

    Like so many other people have said recently, I would have loved to see Hillary as President... But Obama ruined the only chance the democrats had at making a real change that people can count on instead of an inexperienced fool that will just make things worse for all of us. I admit, I didn't like McCain as much in the beginning, but now I just want ANYone but NObama!

    October 15, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. Dies Nuhtz

    Our family likes how McCain has to hide his failed Economic plan until the last possible minute so it avoids any critizism before the final debate...we're onto you old man. That's why our traditionally Republican family is jumping ship and voting for Obama. Obama!

    October 15, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. Law Students for Obama

    Wow, I think this is the longest CNN has ever left its comments section open. I know the Obama campaign is planning something huge tonight to shut the McCain campaign up about Ayers once and for all. The thing that really bothers me about republicans is that Obama has been repudiating, distincing himself, disagreeing with Ayers/Wright over and over since the primaries, and still it's a issue with them. Sarah Palin lies that she's been "vindicated" by the Troopergate report and McCain says that he wasn't legally punished for the Keating 5 mess and suddenly we, the American People should let all of that go. Hypocrites. Please McCain come up with some fresh ideas about the economy and tell us about them tonight. I'm voting Obama, but that's only because I dearly miss my Senator McCain from 2000.

    October 15, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  6. BK

    Even you people that hate Obama have to admit; he is a cunning strategist and McCain has continually failed by underestimating him. And what better person to have in the white house right now than a cunning strategist? After getting kicked around in the war on terror and fumbling over ourselves repeatedly, we need someone who can think on their feet and always have their opponents right where they want them, just like Obama has McCain right where he wants him.

    October 15, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  7. Old White Guy

    John McCain is totally dazed and confused and he would love to get into a political mudslinging match – that's all he has.

    The republicans got us into this economic mess with their deregulation and now they want a sideshow distraction.

    Look at the Stock Market, the jobs report, any economic indicator and ask yourself why you should vote for a continuation of republican economics?

    October 15, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  8. VETS4Obama

    Kari....get a clue!!! You and the rest of your right wing nut jobs have almost destroyed the country in 8 years! Welcome back to where you belong....the MINORITY!!! You need to make sure that McShame's smart mouthed, eye candy and power abusing so-called governor from Alaska has room for you in her igloo after the election!

    October 15, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  9. Tania

    Obama just keeps on giving me politigasms. I've waited my entire adult life for someone to seek the highest office in our country with humility, humor, and hope. Here he finally is...a man not afraid to mea culpa when necessary and to stand up for his beliefs.

    I think Michelle Obama said it best on Larry King the other night, none of this Ayers, ACORN, elite baloney touches them, because the Obamas know who they are, what they stand for, and why they strive to reach a position where they can help America reach it's full potential.

    I simply cannot wait to hear both of these wonderful Americans speak, I just get butterflies every time. Hope is not just a slogan, it's a wonderful view of our collective future.

    October 15, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  10. TJ

    you go Barrack, go in God's Peace and Favor. US of A needs a man like you at this critical time.

    October 15, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  11. Millie Gee

    And...have you read about the 28 million DVD's that have been distributed in the battleground states? The DVD that is trying to scare folks about Obama, Islam and Israel? You better believe it, we haven't seen the degree to which it will be tried to smear go to prevent Obama from winning. I would not have thought there was so much desperation. Can you imagine the cost.

    October 15, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  12. silas

    Great piece Martin ( u my favorite contributor) I'll have to put u on my tmobile fave 5 for this article . lol

    October 15, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  13. Not surprised

    This is just the latest incident pointing to a critical problem with voter registration drives being conducted by ACORN, including thousands of fraudulent voter registration forms that threaten the very integrity of this election.

    Acorn registers Micky Mouse.

    October 15, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  14. mia

    obama is my president and mccain cannot do anything about it.......(ha ha ha ha)

    October 15, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  15. Connie Todd

    Godd luck Obama. Let's bring it on and beat the mavericks.

    October 15, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  16. Ali

    wow wow! My question to all of you so what if American president is a Muslim as long as his American. my kid’s all born in U.S so they can not be president.

    Very sad

    October 15, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  17. Bs

    Can CNN confirm Senator Obama's muslim links ?
    Does he favor Muslims over Americans ?

    We have a right to know this for sure.

    October 15, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  18. Katrina

    And for those of you who don't have any idea of the difference between VOTER FRAUD and VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD...

    Voter Fraud is when there are fraudulant votes actually cast, trying to give weight to one side over the other.

    Voter Registration Fraud is when employees of a voter's registration organization are lazy but want to be paid anyway, so they fill out fake ballots.

    ACORN itself has no reason to commit VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD because it HURTS THEM. They have to pay employees for FAKE BALLOTS when said employees didn't actually do their jobs.

    And those tons of extra, fraudulant ballots? Sorry, but they'll never even be used. Not unless someone shows up with the identification to show that they are Daffy Duck, living on East Quackington Lane. Not really gonna happen.

    VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD HAS NO IMPACT ON THE NUMBER OF VOTES CAST. ACORN is being cheated out of money, NOT cheating the country. Use a little bit of common sense before making mind-bogglingly ignorant accusations, if that's not too much to ask, please.

    October 15, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  19. verbal kent

    Does anyone know why McCain originally opposed a holiday for MLK?

    October 15, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. VETS4Obama

    Hey NJ...your support of those right wing nut jobs for the last 8 years have almost destroyed the country! On November 4th you can get comfortable with a position you should have always been in....the MINORITY!!!

    October 15, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  21. Srinivas

    Polls don't matter. This time around, Al Gore was leading the chimp by 11 points and still "lost". Just ensure that the Right wing Slimeballs don't steal this election with their fraud.

    And another thing, Right wing scums. ACORN might have *registered* Mickey Mouse to vote, but on the day of election, it's up to Jeb Bush to send Mickey to vote, like all the thousands of fraudulent votes he secured last time for his evil brother.

    October 15, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  22. jt

    after winning 36 primaries, running a magnificient well organized campaign, staying cool, calm steady, and intelligent in a time of crisis...thats Obama, Look at McCain on the other side, unstable, unpredictable and risky, So....the choice is clear.

    October 15, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  23. Jason

    I like this quote from a fellow poster: "...people who say they are for Obama publicly will vote for Sen. McCain just because Barack Obama is black."

    Funny. And do you think people WILL vote for Obama because he IS black?? Why don't you ask the very racist black communities of North Carolina that question. You see there ARE white and black racist in this community. Anyone that votes for Obama because he's black is just as much a racist as someone will not vote for Obama for the same reason.

    October 15, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  24. Jason

    I like this quote from a fellow poster: "...people who say they are for Obama publicly will vote for Sen. McCain just because Barack Obama is black."

    Funny. And do you think people WILL vote for Obama because he IS black?? Why don't you ask the very racist black communities of North Carolina that question. You see there ARE white and black racist in this community. Anyone that votes for Obama because he's black is just as much a racist as someone will not vote for Obama for the same reason.

    Roland Martin is in this same boat...

    October 15, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  25. Palin also tied to Iran

    Todd Palin belonged to the AIP. The leadership of AIP's tough-talking founder, Joe Vogler, AIP allied itself with the Islamic dictatorship in Iran in 1993, so that Vogler could appear at the United Nations to appeal for Alaska's freedom from US "tyranny." Volgler was murdered before his UN appearance. However, T. Palin wouldn't even get national security clearance with this type of history.

    October 15, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
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