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. McCain Supporter

    Thanks for posting that. All of these people want change and believe everything Obama says. They are fixing to get more change than they can handle!

    October 15, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  2. Lisa B

    I'm listening to McCain, and I'm getting physically nauseous. He does not specify what he wants to do, and his answers are incomprehensible gibberish, spouting false statements and old arguments. I also cannot stand how he continuously interrupts Obama's answers, and how he smirks arrogantly when he's not speaking.

    McCain also has no clue of how an economy works. I'll admit, I'm no economical expert, but even I know that without tax money, the government will have no means of providing public services, like roads, hospitals, and education. The big companies and those with large incomes can afford to give taxes and still live in leisure.

    October 15, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  3. peter mallard

    Pleeeese... Sen. McCain is way out of control about we the "American" people who is soooo tired of George Bush and the old World way of these "RACIEST" on going way of the new worldly way of life. Republican are "WAR MONGERS" and anti "CRIST" so called human beings... !!! Sen. Obama.. is "OUR" leader for the future of our "DIVERSED" AMERICA.... AMERICA is different "NOW"!!! GOD BLESS SEN. OBAMA.

    October 15, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  4. MissouriMom

    McCain + Palin= a painful demise. As a single mother I am extremely concerned with the present and future state of our country. I refuse to sit idoly by and wathc these two continue to destroy this country. My son, myself and everyone else in this country deserves a fighting chance at the American dream. The only way we are going to get that is by getting Obama and Biden in the White House. Say what you will Republicans, but the fact of the matter is, you are a threat to our country and you must be dealt with accordingly!!

    October 15, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  5. Lynne

    Obama is trying to stick to the issues that are important to us. McCain is intent on attacking personally Obama. Does anyone really believe that McCain is in touch with what everyday Americans are going through? McCain’s every move is politically motivated.

    Obama needs to stay his course. McCain is imploding before our eyes with his angry and condescending comments and erratic body language.

    October 15, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  6. Wanda Woodruff

    Well, you could have aired your World Series , but I am sure that Senator Obama was not receiving this air time free of charge, so you could have made a decision to not to take his money but I guess Fox overlooked that aspect. They took his money to air the ad so really Fox made a decision to be greedy and not air the World Series, simply because they wanted the money. And I am sure the World Series will be on way into the night.

    October 15, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  7. keys1on1

    McCain looks weird, what's wrong with him. He can not, he can not win this race!

    October 15, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  8. elaine

    i wonderf if mac would reference the "eloquence" of senator obama if he weren't a man of color.....first mac goes on and on that senator obama doesn't "understand" and now he is intimating that he only speaks well, which is "code" and everybody from here to dubai knows it....

    well, don't believe me, just ask maggie about her "lying monkey" remark.....

    unbelievable....and mac says that the george wallace remarks are beyond the pale....i don't think so.....

    October 15, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  9. Rafael

    McCain should "not" use his adopted children to defend his views on Roe vs Wade, he is too old to have kids anyway, that's why he adopted them. Come on McCain, you could do better than that.

    October 15, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  10. McCain = Angry Old Man..H8ter

    McCain is such an angry old man...He is a h8ter and envies Obama's eloquence.....McCain grow up...or when will you?

    October 15, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  11. Hemi from SC

    Y is Mclame even there...he sound Soooooo Angry...Nap time

    October 15, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  12. Vinny

    Obama isn't setting McCain up for the rope-a-dope. McCain set himself up for the rope-a-dope. This is what happens when you don't have a clear vision. Obama has remained steadfast since day 1. Has stayed above the fray in the political mudslinging.

    October 15, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  13. NIKI


    October 15, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  14. Leandre Fields

    McCain has shown how hot headed he really is. He won't allow Obama to complete his statements. McCain is acting as if he is still in high school. Answer the questions directly. We want to hear what you REALLY have to say....... But only if your making sense.

    October 15, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  15. Socialists for Obama

    Obama has it so right. We need to spread the wealth around. From each according to their means. To each according to their needs. Its worked every time its been tried.

    October 15, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  16. Mercedez

    Wow, I was reading through the comments and out jumped a racist..I knew that these last few weeks would bring them out. Maggie, dear, I dare you to get on national television and call Obama a lying monkey, honey this is a new generation, so bring your ignorance forth and be seen, get on television and say it, I dare you. Christine K, maybe you haven't been keeping up on the news, Palin's husband and she approved of it, is an active member, just recent of an Alaska group that hate America, I guess it is safe to say they are terrorists. Obama was on the board with Ayers, and if Ayers was such a terrorist, why is he not in prison, why is a Professor at a University in Chicago? I think those of you that are stuck on issues that have already been shut down with the help of the media need to maybe look at Obama as a man running for President and not a black man. All of you who are racist, step up and step out, be heard, be seen. What are you afraid of? Show your faces, get on TV and make your points, speak your mind, come on out with it....for those of us who have common sense and who are not of ignorance, get ready because we are going to take a step back to the days of Dr. King.

    October 15, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  17. peter mallard

    Hello.. Sen. McCain.. "Stell-Cell" tech... is a "GOD SEND "for mankind's good favor of women and man-kind coming together and solving man's "prey's"!! GO OBAMA!!! IT's in the "UNIVERSE"!!!

    October 15, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  18. Gina

    To Howard B. -McCain is not listening now, never will and never has listened to the people. Obama is the future. Old people's ways got us where we are now. Step into now. These "Seniors" aren't going to be here for our future. They do not care about anything but cruising through their "Golden Years" in comfort.

    October 15, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  19. Iman M.

    Health insurance for 5800???? Holy cow McCain, where can I sign up for that?!?!?!?! I own my own business and am about to kick-out $1,100 for one month...with a $500 deductible for each member, no preexisting conditions (one of my kids has asthma) covered, and prescriptions not covered until deductible met. Why did I not see this plan when I was looking?

    October 15, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. Danbama

    I hope Obama bans Foxnews when he's president.

    October 15, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  21. elaine

    it's time for mac to call it day...and a career....

    October 15, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  22. Vinny

    John sounds like he's taking breaths out of an oxygen tank. Obama has gotten under his skin and he is showing it. What will happen if McCain is elected and there is controversy which there always is. Will McCain blow a gasket or will remain Obama-Cool and respond in a sane well thought way.

    October 15, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  23. Toni

    Maggie...."Monkey"? Are you serious? Come with something original and more intelligent. It appears to me that McCain is the "monkey" at this point in time....Grow up!!!!

    October 15, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  24. Brad

    It's almost funny to hear so many "conservatives" talk about how dumb the people who support Barack Obama and the Democrats are. There is another way of looking at this election...the American people are sick and tired of you! You had your chance with George Bush and Dick Cheney and you blew it!

    October 15, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  25. Republican + Angry+ Old Man= H8ter

    Wow this debate is showing that McCain is an angry old man.without his own ideas...He can only attack Obama's...He is such a H8ter...envying Obama's eloquence. When wil we hear McCain's ideas? Does he have any? Or will he ask Joe the Plumber...Poor McCAin...grow up..oh but u are already old

    October 15, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
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