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. Jimmy B.

    So If Barrack had agreed to 10 town hall meetings.....does that mean that McCain wouldn't have been so ruff on him(-: lol!

    October 15, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  2. Jonathan

    he got his money to go to harvard and columbia from loans like most other college students. at a michelle rally on monday, she mentioned how they finally payed them off just a few years ago.

    October 15, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  3. Kraig

    Pete,
    O has been VERY detailed in explaining what he intends to do, so apparently you haven't been watching and listening, or maybe you're just biased. If you want to compare O to Jimmy Carter, please bring up some policy, rather than calmness, smiles, etc.

    October 15, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  4. daddypat

    Without the efforts of Bill Ayers there would be twice as many names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He and his group did not attack America, but instead shook up a mindless government and military establishment lead by old men
    intent on sending boys off to die. Ayers was a hero. Those who do not understand history fail to admit the truth.

    October 15, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  5. Leandre Fields

    aholaha please do your research prior to posting... McCain cheated on his wife... a woman that was in a car accident and who was blessed to be alive. This is who you TRUST?? He committed adultery... and then left his mangled wife with their children for the woman he is with now... Obama was born in HAWAII.... that's a state in the USA.... research works well...

    October 15, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  6. geraldine

    John Mccain is so fake!!!!!!!!!!!! He has million of $$$$$$$ He just want the power.He does not care about anyone but the rIch $$$$$$$$$$.

    John has how many houses?????? He likes to spend money.

    John will use Sara palin baby illness to get what he want .Where has john been their are a lot of kids that have been sick for years where have you been john? You are so fake!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  7. Jeremiah

    Im just happy McCain pulled resources from Wisconsin. Wisconsin is Blue and will always be Blue. Obama understands our values in the midwest. Obama/Biden 08

    October 15, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  8. Stevie Carrasco

    AS A LIBERAL I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH THAT MCCAIN WITH SO CALLED EXPERIENCE VOTED WITH THE WORST PRESIDENT IN OUR HISTORY 90% OF THE TIME.LET ME REPEAT 90% OF THE TIME,WHAT MORE DO YOU BLIND INDEPENDENCE WANT.ALSO JUST LOOK AT HIS JOKE OF A VP PICK,NO REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST CAN SAY SHE WAS ON ANYONES RADAR AT ALL BY A LOOONG SHOT ,BECAUSE SHE DOESNT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING.WHY DO YOU THINK SHES SO PROTECTED.ARE SOME AMERICANS THAT IGNORANT TO NOT SEE THAT THIS AIR HEAD SCRIPTED HOCKEY MOM FROM NOWHERE MIGHT BE PRESIDENT .ITS SAD THAT SOME AMERICANS ARE THAT STUPID TO BACK MCCAIN AND PALIN.JUST LISTEN TO THESE IDIOTS AND THERE REASONS OF BACKING THIS TICKET,THEY CANT,BESIDES SAYING MAVERICK OR BEING RACIST,I MEAN VOTING 90% OF THE TIME WITH THIS IDIOT BUSH IS ENOUGH FOR ME,YOU MUST BE OUT OF TOUCH IF YOU VOTE FOR THIS PATHETIC JOKE OF A TICKET

    October 15, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  9. That One 08

    Everyone remember to VOTE! The polls today are great, the choice is clear, and maybe we can have hope for our children's future again in America. Maybe we can again hope that America will be "a city set on a hill". Maybe we can hope that the Bush disaster and the Republican greed-machine are grinding to a halt. But you have to VOTE!

    October 15, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  10. Leandre Fields

    Kraig... :-) You are my hero!! RESEARCH!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  11. joe plumber

    you all guys out there, I AM SORRY BUT OBAMA JUST SOUND LIKE A OLD CAR SALES PERSON, TRYING TO SELL HIS CAR TO US TO BECOME A PRESIDENT OF THIS STRONG NATION OF OURS.

    October 15, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  12. Meka in Atlanta

    I think Georgia is going blue! Obama/Biden '08

    October 15, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  13. Kraig

    Ok, American's, let's be clear. We have the chance to change America! No more will big-biz control our future. Say good-bye to 'trickle-down' economics. The two problems with the trickle-down theory are:
    1.) It's merely a theory that looks good on paper, but has no consideration for greed.
    2.) The real problem in it's operation is the 'trickle'. Let me ask you, when you're really thirsty to near dehydration, would it help you much to get a trickle out of a fountain? No! You need running water! Financially, folks, most Americans are desperate. Yes, part of it is our fault, but part of it is because we all know men and women who make half a million or 5 million while their employees make 15 to 30 thousand. These are the people that are making them all their money! THAT is greed, folks. Is there true respect for the laborer anymore?

    October 15, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  14. Harvey

    Obama won the debate and its clear that he is much more qualified that McCain. In addition, if there is anyone in this country that feels that Sarah Palin is ready to be president, is a true IDIOT.

    Vote Obama 08

    October 15, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  15. God Bless America

    I'm too young to remember the rope-a-dope. However, I saw OBAMA in this debate take the HIGH ROAD and conduct himself as a PRINCE truly respecting his ELDER!

    October 15, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  16. EWHATLEY

    Where was MCCain's flag pin?

    October 15, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  17. Harvey

    McCain really needs to retire. You know how some boxers get back in to fighting knowing their too too old to compete. Let's take Holifield for example. He was great 10 years ago, but he is still fighting.

    John McCain is searching for anything he can do. Negative is all he has right now. He does not address any issues.

    October 15, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  18. Stevie Carrasco

    ITS IDIOTS LIKE YOU JOE BLOW PLUMMER THAT HELP DRIVE THIS COUNTRY IN THE GROUND,TYPICAL RESPONSE OF A REPUBLICAN MIDWESTERN IDIOT

    October 15, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  19. ZipWizard

    Scare tactics and negative campaigning do NOT work when folks find when they put their hands in their pockets, they find they have holes in them. Self presevation when it hits closer to home, is scarier than external issues. It always has been.

    Obama wins!
    When the awesome recovery kicks in, he'll get credit as one of our great presidents, that saved America, and expanded our economy.
    (What kind of recovery, you ask?) The incredible recovery involves 5 million new jobs in newable energy technologies. Once we have control of our energy sources, we can kick our economy into high gear without fear of external influences. You go Obama! Show em America is back.

    October 15, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  20. Brian

    Mc Cain was eye blinking an SOS to Palin. Stop. The gigs up. Stop. He caught us again. Stop. No you are not qualified. Stop. No, Alaska does not border Russia. Stop. I said STOP. I said STOP. I said STOP.
    This sis your Maverick cease and desist.....................................................

    October 15, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  21. E Harris

    Maggie, you called Obama a "lying monkey". You know on Nov 5 he will be your President. You obviously believe everything the right tells you. What information have you actually researched from multiple sources for yourself....including the human connection to monkeys. By the way I am a supporter and early voter for Obama.

    October 15, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  22. Kraig

    Leandre,
    Thanks for your kind remark. I must say, it's just come on this time around. I confess, I voted for W twice...ouch.

    Anyway, I just had to change my means of deciding one day when I saw this guy at work who believes every forward email he gets and then, yup, without research, simply forwards them on and spreads the lie. Almost everything he sent me was proved a lie by snopes.com.

    So, I asked him kindly to stop sending forwards...period. He didn't like it, but, now I have time to actually research the stuff I hear! Freedom!

    Now, I am free to think for myself and not be swallowed by the fear-mongering that McSame/McPalin continually try to perpetuate. They want to get people to believe ANYTHING negative about O, so they can hopefully win. Country first? No...ambition first is where they are. I cannot trust those types of action.

    America...you will know them by their fruit!

    O & JOE!!

    October 15, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  23. E Harris

    Hey Joe Plumber, if Obama sounds like a car salesperson, GUESS WHAT I BOUGHT THE CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  24. Tami

    Of course I get the message that my comment is AWAITING MODERATION. Duh!!! I never even believed it would be allowed to be posted. Look at the disproportionate amount of comments for Obama. Will you be shamed into posting it NOW or will I just have to show screen capture to all my teacher colleagues and my husband's police colleagues? You know, those few that THINK? The educated and not those that believe what the media sells them?????? Those in the trenches, the ones who see the results of too much government, the ones who witness, first hand, the results of socialism???

    October 15, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  25. ZipWizard

    BTW – Obama is a trained trial lawyer of high intelligence. He KNOWS how to bait the opposing party in front of a jury. McCain fell in hook, line, and he's a sinker for sure. Obama waited for McCain to falter, and stayed cool throughout...which just what the doc ordered in times of crisis. What a terrific negociator Obama will be when in trade agreements with other countries. I can't wait for this new administration to get started. It's going to be awesome.

    October 15, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
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