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. Allen

    obama do us all a favor and step down. My dog has more experience then you do. VOTE INDEPENDENT (former democrat)

    October 15, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  2. ProudAmerican

    Barack Obama's presidency was pre-destined. Mark my words.. Acorn, Rev. Wright, Ayers, McCain/Palin, Bill O'Reilly, Hannity & Colmes will not stop his PRESIDENCY.

    It was pre-destined when Barack Obama was born. Mark my words.

    October 15, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. David Stalker

    All i gotta say is : Nixon, Bush Senior, and Dubya.

    Do we really need another one of these vile,dishonest, lying republicans in the White House? PLease!

    October 15, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  4. Zagazaw

    For all you so-call Christian for Palin, I am a Christian myself, I the LORD Himself tell us that if you cannot be faithful over a few things you will not be given alot, she abuse her power as Gov, she must not get aniwhere close to the White House.

    October 15, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. Texas Teacher

    Whatever happens tonight in this debate, Obama supporters must not allow themselves to become conplacent! We need to come out in such numbers that there can be doubt as to what We, the People, have said. The Vote is our only voice... and we have to come out so strong that the Republicans CANNOT STEAL another ELECTION!

    Ayers, ACORN.... just a smoke screen.... stay vigilant, People!
    Obama/Biden 2008 and 20012!

    October 15, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  6. DeVone

    we the people of what we call this great nation must no matter
    what happen on this debate tonight Senator Obama from day
    one even through the primaries has prove him self if we want
    a correction in this country we must make the change what we
    need to understand is Senator Obama is our front man but
    we have to back this man now and through out his tearm if
    we do the right thing folk keep asking what has he done?
    the most important thing the Senator has done is to stand
    up for people like you and I to say enough is enough and
    we have had enough its not about the Senator he can say
    hegot his and we got ours to get but he is on the front line for
    Americans that have to get up and go to work think about your
    children foget about hate for you who are hateing because
    you will be hearting to

    October 15, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    God Bless you Senator Obama and God Bless America!

    O and Joe '08

    October 15, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  8. Zagazaw

    This is what Sarah Palian want. She and her husband have an hiden agenda, that why she did not blink on the chance to be VP, she already abuse her power, what would she do in the white house, when Todd want to run the country his way.

    October 15, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  9. sonja

    It looks like Jeremiah Wright was just the tip of the iceberg. Not only did Barack Obama savor Wright’s sermons, Obama gave legitimacy — and a whole lot of money — to education programs built around the same extremist anti-American ideology preached by Reverend Wright. And guess what? Bill Ayers is still palling around with the same bitterly anti-American Afrocentric ideologues that he and Obama were promoting a decade ago. All this is revealed by a bit of digging, combined with a careful study of documents from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, the education foundation Obama and Ayers jointly led in the late 1990s.
    John McCain, take note. Obama’s tie to Wright is no longer a purely personal question (if it ever was one) about one man’s choice of his pastor. The fact that Obama funded extremist Afrocentrists who shared Wright’s anti-Americanism means that this is now a matter of public policy, and therefore an entirely legitimate issue in this campaign.

    October 15, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  10. s k sikka

    You all talking about the "moment". Is McCain going to have a Malox moment?

    October 15, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  11. lou

    Voters should remember the last eight years and a famous Bushism...Fool me once, shame on you. Shame on... Fool me twice... You can't be fooled again.

    Please America – let's not get fooled again. The change we need is four years too late, but better late than never.

    Vote Obama

    October 15, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  12. mag

    Well, just because I hang out with intraveneous drug users doesn't mean I do it, and just because I hang on the street with "hos" doesn't mean that I sell my body to whomever, RIGHT? Yeah,right. I don't hang with these people because we don't have anything in common and I find their behavior deplorable. Obama is full of it! Wake up America! Character DOES matter.

    October 15, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. bill for barack

    Obama's gonna throw a rope around a dope tonight. Guess who ?

    October 15, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  14. Zagazaw

    Alaskan Independence Party
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    October 15, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  15. Jason

    If McCain brings up Ayers, Obama can bring up the (much more anti-American) AIP, or perhaps the World League for Freedom and Democracy.

    If McCain brings up ACORN, Obama can bring up the simple fact that ACORN registers EVERYONE, Republican and Democrat, and mention McCain's support for their organization (which dwarfs Obama's, incidentally).

    If McCain brings up Wright, Obama can bring up Hagee, Parsley, Falwell, Palin's witch-hunter pastor, and Vogler ("the fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for America" makes Wright's few statements seem tame).

    See where I'm going with this? For all the "OBAMA HAS RADICAL TIES" garbage, McCain is swimming in people with connections to the Burma dictatorship, Saddam's Iraq, secessionist loonies, pastors blaming gays for hurricanes and terrorist attacks, a running mate who (despite her sincerest outright lies) was found guilty of abusing her power and violating ethics laws...

    If McCain tries to take the low road, Obama will annihilate him.

    October 15, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  16. Barbara

    I wonder if Bsrack Obama will expose the fact that John McCain sat on the board of a really right wing society that supplied arms to the contras, and they also were known racist and anti-semetic, I wonder. Also lets look at the report that Rick Sanchesz did on Sarah Palin and the Alaska Independent Party. She is someone who supported Alaske seceding the nation – how American is that? They are not putting country first, just themselves. If McCain dares to go there, I hope that Obama takes off the gloves and leaves both McCain and Palin on the ropes with all of their lies and misrepresentations.

    October 15, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Allen

    I think a few of you, might want to consider going back to school and learn how to spell! VOTE INDEPENDENT (former democrat). Go Ralph Nader.....

    October 15, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  18. republican for obama

    GO BARACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  19. james in s.c.

    ok time for me to run, 10 minutes till the "GREAT DEBATE".
    see y'all afterwards. GO OBAMA!!!!!!!

    peace

    October 15, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. sonja

    In 1995 Barack Obama sought out the New Party’s endorsement for his 1996 state senate run. The New Party was a Marxist political coalition whose objective was to endorse and elect leftist public officials. He was successful in obtaining that endorsement, and he used a number of New Party volunteers as campaign workers. Most New Party members hailed from the Democratic Socialists of America and the militant organization ACORN. The party’s Chicago chapter also included a large contingent from the Committees of Correspondence, a Marxist coalition of former Maoists, and Communist Party USA members

    October 15, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Jim Brown

    NObama '08 America will be screwed if he's elected.

    October 15, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  22. LawyerMommy

    Here we go. Speculation, conjecture.

    McCain should be himself.. He is an angry senior. He should just do what he does best... and go out ORIGINAL.
    This fake soft voice and gentle understanding is exhausting to me.

    He needs to let it rip. The end is nigh–November 4– its time to throw it all out there and fight like a tiger.

    Well, no matter what McCain decides. I am still voting for Obama.

    Vote Obama/Biden 08

    October 15, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  23. John

    Democrats have the corner on hate speech. Many of you sound like you are filled with hate for McCain-Palin. You are hypocrites if you do not see how ugly your attacks are worded. Why are your attacks against McCain-Palin so personal? You have yet to make a single valid point that convinces me of the validity of your attacks. Palin is far more qualified than either Obama or Biden to lead. Palin has been elected to and successfully served as an executive leader of a city and a state. Something neither Obama nor Biden have done. Both McCain and Palin are proven bipartisan leaders. Obama and Biden are two of the most partisan Senators in the US. The questions regarding Obama's relationships with unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers (who tried to murder people) are valid issues, not negative politics. The Ayers issue was originally brought up by Hillary during the Democratic debates.

    October 15, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  24. SANDRA FOR OBAMA/BIDEN

    JOHN.... You need to go read fact check .Your comments are stupid.One thing about the republican they find everything wrong with what others do but not what they do NO PROBLEM!!!.John MSANE voted for derugulation with his cronies because it help them.What Sen. soon to PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA does is take on real issues and McSane talks about nothing...GET OVER IT !!! We need help with the economy and your McSANE HAS NO ANSWERES......

    October 15, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  25. Tochi

    If anybody is in touch with new America it is Martin-he stands out in midst of stale political team on TV. Just like McCain who has been in Washington for ever a lot of these pundits have been on TV for far too long. They understand very little of new America let alone issues and concerns of voters.

    October 15, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
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