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. Gina

    How dare ACORN help register minority voters! That's fraud against the republican party.

    October 15, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  2. michelle

    are joe the plumber and joe six-pack the same?

    October 15, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  3. Gloria

    McCain is so pathetic and the sad part is that there are people out there who feels that he is perfect for the job. Look at his choice for a running mate!

    October 15, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  4. E Harris

    I think John McCain is loosing it. I want to hear about issues. Ronald Regan palled around with monkeys, yet the country feels he was one of our best President.

    October 15, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  5. mark

    john maccain is one-dimensional, doesn't listen to facts that differ from hi s own, and does not want to talk about the economy. He also doesn't understand, apparently, that Obama is able to spend lots of money on campaigns because the American people are investing in him, and not in mccain.

    October 15, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. Wubbs

    It's clear that McCain is grasping at straws. He's against the ropes and he's trying to throw anything he can at Obama. The problem is, as soon as he throws it out there, it disintegrates. He needs to stop repeating the same old lines and come up with actual answers to the big problems.

    October 15, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  7. Rafael

    McCain, swears he knows the facts about Ayers, my question is to him, was he there, was he a witness, anything?

    October 15, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  8. Sandra

    If Senator Barack is a terrorist and doesn't care about this country and Ayers, a professor at a US University, is a terrorist, what does that say about the security of this country. Further more, McCain is all about "war" and knows nothing else. Just listen to him speak. "fight", "war", "enemies". Along with financial stability, this country needs peace. Too many lives have been lost. Last, but not least, Sarah Palin is a fighter, too. America has too many children who will grow up without knowing their father and mother. This country will never be at ease because of the harted of difference that exists and has always existed especially toward Blacks. To all the white who see no color, May God be with you! We all have the same blood running through our veins. Hatred is destruction and God is angry. He has all power. So, to all you folks out there who go to church and preys, do you still have hatred in your hearts? If so, you don't know God. Love and Peace and Prosperity.

    October 15, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  9. nikki

    Go Mccain......
    How and the world could we seriously want someone who knows nothing about this country's military to be our COMMANDER IN CHEIF..Get real people...TO RUN the US MILITARY YOU SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO ATLEAST HAVE BEEN IN THE MILITARY..IT"S COMMON SENSE!!!

    October 15, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  10. Pat

    McCain is using the republican playbook of scare everyone, shock and awe. Well my friends its not working we are too smart this time to fall for that garbage.

    October 15, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  11. jackay

    if palin is like a breath of fresh air, i don't want to breathe.

    October 15, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  12. Joe Sixpack

    See, there you go; If it was McCain that mentioned the word rope, the dems would scream racism. But it's O.K for "you people" to say it.

    October 15, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  13. Joe

    I cannot stand Roland Martin. He is an idiot.

    October 15, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  14. mrspkj29

    why is John McCain so negative? Although we all know that Sara Palin is in no way qualified to be president of the US, Obama was courteous when talking about her. We all know that Joe Biden is more than qualified to become president but McCain immediately went to the negative.

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  15. Jon

    I hope all you believers in Obamas "Change" take a good hard look at the completely nasty things this board is polluted with

    If thats your idea of change, you can keep it

    October 15, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  16. mike

    did I hear McCain say about Palin that she's a "BREAST of fresh air"???

    October 15, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  17. African-TruthTeller, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    The winner of 2008 US presidential election is : OBABIMADEN!

    October 15, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  18. mrspkj29

    Nikki, if you look through history at our presidents, you will note that many of them have never served in the military: Bush, Clinton, Reagan to name only a few and they managed to be able to command the military.

    October 15, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  19. charlotte of Memphis


    October 15, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  20. real people

    McCain is really pathetic. Because he didn't get his way about the town hall meetings he has license to go negative? He sounds like a petulent, spoiled little boy.

    October 15, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  21. Ben

    From what I have heard from the two candidates, I have no doubt Obama understands the economy better then McCain do. Obama you have my vote!

    October 15, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  22. Mimi in Ohio

    John McCain is doing a better job tonight but he still comes across as negative and frustrated. He keeps criticizing what's wrong with Obama's policies but is not mentioning any of his own. It's real easy to criticize someone else's ideas but don't offer any of your own.

    You go President Obama

    October 15, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  23. Chrystal Durham, NC

    McCain fell for it!. The bait worked!.

    October 15, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  24. paul

    Obama's wife is not proud of America
    His Paster does not like America
    His Friends bomb America

    The good news is he is elected you will feel the same way

    he is playing the victim and sending 7K from people who earn money to people who don't work is brbin gthe electorate

    October 15, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  25. Obama Supporter

    Could John McCain at least give us a straight answer? I haven't heard one answer that tells us how he is going to "change" anything. He dances around and tells of Obama's faults hoping people will forget that he really has no plans to back up his push for our country. I might be able to give him a little credit if he had some answers but babble just doesn't do it for me.

    October 15, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
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