October 15th, 2008
08:30 PM ET
10 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. greg

    whats up with that republican in independant clothing,lou dobbs

    October 15, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  2. Scott Carter

    Response to John

    Amazing you forget that your Republican party was in charge of congress for 12 years before the Dems, you also had the White House for 8 of those and you foget that we had a surplus when a Democrat was in the White House. Keep drinking the Kool Aid!!!!

    October 15, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. Lynne Sorenson

    I am so tired of the slanted view of Obama. His tainted past ties are significant to his presidential goal. You can even get on a plane if you appear to be in any way linked to terrorists etc. A blind eye is being turned towards Obama just because the GOP has seemingly failed us when we have documented Democrats to blame for the mortgage collapse among other things. Where is the reality? Help. Lynne Sorenson

    October 15, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  4. 100% support of OBAMA!

    go get him Barack! You have my vote!!! I just want to watch the McCain make a fool, then come out of it like he won...insane!

    October 15, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  5. Cedric

    Barack is too smart to not know these comments are coming.

    October 15, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  6. Blanche Asdot

    The hate and scare tatics used in this campaign are truly disgusting. Our economy is a mess, we are spending billions of dollars on an ill conceived war,our dependence on oil has got to be addressed: yet all we are hearing from the McCain /Palin ticket are character attacks. Enough is enough !! Talk to us about the ISSUES PLEASE.Blanche

    October 15, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  7. David Shawn

    I have been listening to people talk for years about how the 'rich' do not pay their share of taxes. I just did a quick search on the phrase "tax paid by income". Guess what?? The top 10% of taxpayers, pay 70% of all income tax paid. Does that sound like their share? How about this? The top 50% of tax payers pay 97% of all income tax payed. Does that sound like the bottom 50% are paying their fair share? So would someone explain to me how mister straight talker is going to lower the taxes on 95% of taxpayers?

    Please do not forget that Mr Biden has told all of us that it is patriotic to pay taxes. Or did he just say that to the 'rich'?

    I am guessing that either CCN will not post this, or that I have lost all the Obama voters who only understand complex concepts like HOPE and CHANGE. But if by chance you are still reading, please know that if Lord Obama the Messiah is elected, we will get plenty of CHANGE, and not much of it good.

    October 15, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    I'm a 62 year old female (white, English decent) from Canada and everyone I know is cheering for Barack Obama. We can,t even understand how anyone could possibly vote for Mccain and especially Palin unless they just vote for the PARTY no matter what FOOL is appointed to run.

    October 15, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  9. Obama Family, 1600 Pennsylvannia Ave

    People! Do you ever go back two or three hours later to see if CNN posts the comment? I laugh when ready the comments because people say something to the effect that they have submitted comments and CNN moderates them, ie Democrat for McCain! I've read more than plenty of your comments!

    Veterans for Obama
    Iraq war vet for Obama
    Montanans for Obama

    October 15, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    why to go matt! well said

    October 15, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  11. mobeane

    when are all the far left socialist media going ti start telling the truth about the election. this is a way for them to spew lies about the real american in this election

    October 15, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  12. McShame will never be my President.

    TO: Freedom October 15th, 2008 8:11 pm ET

    "Just because a man is unlucky enough to get captured while at war does not make him have honor."
    Yes that's correct. But when your TORTURING captors directly say that they will release you upon your admittal that the war is wrong and you sustain the pain, YOU HAVE HONOR.

    McShame had no honor as a POW. He signed a confession to the North Vietnamese and they broadcasted it over the air. PLUS – the only reason he was not released "early" was because his FATHER said NO. McCain was ready to go home, but his father insisted on an honorable return with the rest of his men.

    October 15, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  13. Wendy in NC

    I just read that McCain received free cell phone towers from both Verizon and AT&T. Since he was on the Senate Commerce Committee and has telecom lobbyists with his campaign, is this not a HUGE conflict, or scuzzy??

    October 15, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  14. Bring America Back!

    I guess this evenings debate is going to be B-O-R-I-N-G unless McVain starts "fighting". I, personally, would like for him to show his true temper and let it all out in order that we may clear the air and listen to the POTUS without any "distractions". PLEASE let the next 3 weeks go fast so we can stop this madness! If people have not made up their minds yet, DON'T BOTHER TO VOTE! You are either NOT listening or you are ignorant. Think about that...

    October 15, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  15. Sito

    Obama has electrified America and the world! This is the best thing to happen to America in a long time. And it may put a few extra smiles on the faces of people suffering around the world.

    It will be great having someone with a mind and feelings running the show!

    Lou Dobbs (the fake patriot he is) will loose ratings with things running the way they should be.

    October 15, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  16. Reg

    I agree with Martin, that Obama is just waiting for McCain to make a mistake tonight.

    October 15, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  17. Glenn Carlton

    For a man that talks about the arm forces so much it would seem like McCain would come up with a better Strategy. Obama has clearly put some thought and preparation is to his speech. First thing the armed forces teach you is Strategic positioning which McCain does not seem to know how to use. It goes something like this. Strategic positioning research is conducted to determine whom the customers of your product/service are and what should be told about the product or service to get them to buy from you. Finding the right target and message to build your marketing plan can be crucial in the success of your product.

    October 15, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  18. Briana

    Go Barack Go
    Virginia you better show up NOV 4TH
    you NC!!!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  19. Kris K in RM CA

    Obama/Biden are doing a terrific job running their campaign. They are real, smart,articulate,
    On the other hand, Palin/McCain are doing a poor job running thier campaign. McCain keeps making poor decisions starting with Palin. Dropping out of states(quitting),repeating known lies,inciting potential violent acts with more lies.The GOP put us in a terrible position with Palin as VP-that is the most important fact.

    October 15, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  20. Obama Family, 1600 Pennsylvannia Ave

    I do hope that McCain shows us his hot temper! A co-worker of mine, STRONG Republican will NOT vote for McCain because he witnessed the temper first hand. He's casting his first Democrat vote at 53 years old.

    John McCain losing his temper with world leaders is NOT what America needs nor wants!

    I am casting my vote on Friday! Yeah!

    October 15, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  21. Dan

    Why are some americans just stupid?Claim to be the greatest nation on earth,yet $47 million of them donot have health insurance.Americans should just be modest and not live beyond their means.They should also not see themselves better than the nationalities of other nations.At the moment,america doesn´t have anything to be proud of.The uneducated whiteman is the filthiest of all scums.What a nation!

    October 15, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  22. Tseren Zourganov

    Very interesting, I like the speculation.

    October 15, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  23. verbal kent

    Hello Republicans. If any of you have daughters or women anywhere in your family I have a warning for you. If, God forbid, your daughter/wife/mother happens to be the victim of a sex crime and is raped, Mrs. Palin wants to MAKE your family accept any potential babies. If you want to though, you also have the priviledge of carrying this baby (along w/ the emotional trauma) for nine months and giving it up for adoption. How lovely!

    October 15, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  24. Law Students for Obama

    Oh and by the way Senator McCain, none of my fellow law students care too much about Ayers when they try to get a bar loan to take the February bar exam and realize that none of the lenders are lending out any money. Three years of law school down the tubes and your campaign is still ranting about things that aren't relevant.

    October 15, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  25. jcarob

    ???Barack Obama is our generation's Bobby Kennedy.???

    Excuse me. I think I am going to be sick.

    October 15, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
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