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. Latinos Para McCain

    Obama is not doing crap. He is a crony that changes his policies depending who is in the audience.

    Obama will lead this Country into destruction with his radical ties and views.

    Country First-Go McCain

    October 15, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  2. Roger

    This debate will be boring. McCain will bury himself when he brings up Acorn or AYERS or Wright. You most likely will get boos from those attending.
    I wonder how McCain will bring these irrelevant topics up during this debate when its going to be focus on the Economy and domestic issues...

    "My friends, the American economy is stronger then ever...
    NOW Obama..THE ONE! What's your ties with Ayers, Acorn, Wright and the known Universe..."

    October 15, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. E Harris

    I read the comments from Gary at 5:45 and a few others that seem to echo such anger, hate and bias. I would like us all to respect our constitiutional rights to speech and the privilage to vote. All of the comments about Obama trying to create a socialist society also baffle me. My understanding of a fundamental socialist belief is that power and wealth is concentrated among a smaller segment of our society and this sect also controls capitalism. Even with the recent growth of millionaires/billionaires don't we already have an uneven distribution of wealth and it's not all by hard work (more screw manipulation). The wealth does not trickle down, that BULL and is that not a fundamental Republican belief– the party in control now. There a many more citizens in the poor and lower economic ranks than in the elite.

    Experience has not done anything for me, I need a change. The fears I don't know are not greater than the fears I face now in our country–economic problems, national security, racial discord, poor domestic job prospects, outsourcing, failing schools...need I go on.

    October 15, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. John

    The policies of Obama and the Democratic Party have failed again. When Ohio had Republican Taft as Governor and a Republican controlled US Congress we had 5% unemployment, now with Democrat Gov. Strickland and a Democratic controlled US Congress, Ohio now has over 7% unemployment. The Democrats have had enough time. It is time for a change from their failed policies that forced banks to loan money to people without a job. We need people in office that are proven bipartisan like McCain who has a proven record of bringing people together. Obama is the most partisan politician in America, and we can’t afford an inexperienced “ruler wanna be” that will not work with all Americans.

    October 15, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. Eric

    The choice is clear. Someone with common sense who really understands what is needed to correct the direction we are headed, or a team of so called mavericks who admits they don't know anything about how the economy works , and someone who says New Hampshire is in the Northwest???? Are you kidding me

    Lets get real – McCain/Palin is worse than Bush/Cheaney

    We don't need two more dummies in the Whitehouse

    October 15, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  6. X

    Obama has a good chance tonight. If McCain doesn't do anything to spur the independents on the economy then his campaign just forfeited the race.

    October 15, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. Texas Teacher

    DAVID Shawn.... you must be of that 5% of the wealthiest.... wait a minute..... Cindy McCain? Is that you again, Girl??? :)

    October 15, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. Andrea

    McCain is a grumpy old man

    He is like that mean grandpa that everyone hates.

    Stop bashing Obama and get back to his own policies. its the only way he will be able to win.

    October 15, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  9. IndependentfromTexasforObama

    McCain is a disgrace to this nation. Yes, he is a POW and we respect forf this. But, his behavior lying and insulting Obama makes him an idiot. After Palin's nomination he lost all credibility. Palin is a street thug. checkout http://www.palinaspresident.com. you get the picture.

    October 15, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  10. Roger

    "Obama is not doing crap. He is a crony that changes his policies depending who is in the audience.

    Obama will lead this Country into destruction with his radical ties and views.

    Country First-Go McCain"

    Just like McCains ties to radical groups along with Palin? \Oh thats right. You forgot those....

    October 15, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. White-African(born there) American Military BRAT

    McCain wants to OBTAIN WORLD DOMINATION through WAR

    October 15, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. Briana

    I am watching Project Runway.
    I know who I'm voting for
    GO BARACK!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. Texas Teacher

    Latinos para McCain..... Now listen, McCains.... this is not your forum.... Stick to your Cronies!

    I teach predominately Latinos and Black Students. Latinos are for Obama.... get real!!! They aren't rich.

    October 15, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. Santa Fean

    McCain is too old. Clearly. Palin is bush all over again. Do you really want four more years of what we have now?

    October 15, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  15. Stephanie

    OBAMA-BIDEN '08!!

    October 15, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  16. Texas Teacher

    Now you, John..... Sheeesh! Someone tell these Republicans they are not fooling anyone! Seriously.... do you honestly think anyone here believes you are just regular people! Really.... pheww... the stench of desperation is obscene!

    October 15, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  17. David Shawn

    To the lying dogs who cut my comment. I hope some day you understand how important an unbiased, free media really is. How do you sleep at night?

    October 15, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  18. White-African(born there) American Military BRAT

    McCain wants to OBTAIN WORLD DOMINATION through WAR.

    October 15, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  19. sonja

    Accusing API of colluding with American internet bloggers in an effort to bring down her husband, Mrs Obama said she decided to call API because of what she termed, API’s help to spread rumours created by American bloggers and other racist media outlets in their efforts to damage a black man’s name, saying she hopes African Media was mature enough to be in the front to give unwavering support to her husband, a man Africans should identify themselves with.
    When API told her that our online news media was only relaying what the American Bloggers and other media outlets had discovered through their investigations, Mrs Obama was angered and she came out loud with the following: “African press International is supposed to support Africans and African-American view,” and she went to state that, “it is strange that API has chosen to support the racists against my husband. There is no shame in being adopted by a step father. All dirt has been thrown onto my husband’s face and yet he loves this country. My husband and I know that there is no law that will stop him from becoming the president, just because some American white racists are bringing up the issue of my husband’s adoption by His step father. The important thing here is where my husband’s heart is at the moment. I can tell the American people that My husband loves this country and his adoption never changed his love for this country. He was born in Hawaii, yes, and that gives him all the right to be an American citizen even though he was adopted by a foreigner; says Michelle Obama on telefon to API.”

    October 15, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  20. bob

    they should've picked with Ron Paul...

    October 15, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  21. blue mind in a red state

    If McCain is so eager to bring up Ayers, then I believe Obama has a full and clear path to ask his counterpart about the recent tone and absolutely disgraceful remarks at his rallies.

    Senator McCain, it's dishonorable and downright ignorant. You and that hater-mongering running mate of yours, should be ashamed of yourselves.

    October 15, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  22. SN-L.MOSELEY

    WAKE UP AMERICA-A MAN WITH NO EXPERIENCE IN THE WHITEHOUSE? WITH ALOT OF MESSES TO CLEAN UP,AND NOT MUCH KNOWLEDGE OF HOW TO DO IT. LET'S ADMIT IT,MANY ARE VOTING FOR HIM BECAUSE OF RACE,RATHER THAN EXPERIENCE.
    WHAT A POOR POOR CHOICE FOR MANY AMERICANS. TRUTHFULLY NOBAMA IS NOT SINCERE,HE TALKS THE TALK,AND IF WINS WON'T WALK THE WALK.
    WAKE UP AMERICA0IT'S A NO-BRAINER
    MCCAIN/PALIN
    HE WILL GET IT DONE NAND CHANGE AMERICA0HE IS A MAN OF WORD AND INTEGRITY!

    October 15, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  23. Bri

    This presidential election is like a mirror of the real america. Yes, we enjoy entertainment. Yes, that entertainment tends to demeans a specific person or topic. Simutaneously, however, we also know that there are issues that need to be addressed and when you put up petty information and attacks against one or another rather than address these problems, you can expect your credibility to drop. Both candidtates are guitly of such attacks against one another, McCain more so than Obama (who has ads up actually stating, even if vaguely, his position on the economy. Constructive politicing so to speak). It is because of the negativity emanating from McCain's end that he attracts negative company, and that I am Voting for Barack Obama.

    October 15, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  24. edsel

    chris rock said it best:
    " I am voting for THE GUY, who has only one house".

    October 15, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  25. verbal kent

    Hey Freedom. That was a very heartwarming story about McCain's adventures in captivity. I just don't care. I'm trying to figure out how enduring torture qualifies you to run a nation. It doesn't disqualify you either...don't get me wrong. HOWEVER, my common sense sometimes runs wild (go figure) and makes me focus more on relevent issues. I have seen with my own two eyes a lack of honor in John McCain evidenced in this campaign. He has no respect for Obama and very little regard for blacks in general. Why the hell would we need a holiday for that uppity n-– Martin Luther King anyway?! McCain was right!
    This blog is sponsored by Citizens w/ Common sense, and our good friends at The Average Republican is an Idiot.org. Also by the letter B.

    October 15, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
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