[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/05/art.obamamc.gi.jpg caption="Obama and McCain have been locked in an increasing war of words."]
(CNN)— In what appears to be the latest line of attack, the McCain campaign released a memo Thursday accusing rival Barack Obama of putting his own “self-interest” ahead of his party and American citizens.
“[Obama] has never put his career on the line for a cause greater than himself,” Senior McCain advisor Steve Schmidt said in a memo released to reporters. “We have seen Barack Obama forced choose between principle and the interests of himself and his party. He has always chosen the latter,” Schmidt wrote.
Calling upon McCain’s early days as a prisoner of war, Schmidt explains the presumptive Republican nominee has put his country first throughout his life.
“When John McCain was offered early release as a prisoner of war, he refused,” Schmidt said. “Subjecting himself to torture rather than give a propaganda victory to his captors.”
Mitt Romney, who has been a fervent McCain supporter since suspending his own presidential bid, reiterated the position to CNN Thursday.
“People recognize they need new leadership, strong leadership,” Romney said. “Not somebody who is consistently putting himself and his party ahead of the interests of the nation.”
The two presumptive nominees have been locked in an increasing war of words over their different policy stances since Obama all but secured the Democratic Party’s nomination.
While Obama has worked to brand McCain has a continuation of Bush’s presidency, the McCain campaign pushed further Thursday, saying Obama represents failed politics.
“While Senator Obama is certainly a fresh face, his campaign offers more of the same old typical politics that have broken Washington,” Schmidt said.
Update: In another clear sign the McCain campaign is pushing the message of loyalty to the country, the presumptive Republican nominee reiterated the language at a town hall event in Cincinnati.
“I promise you as president of The United States I will always, always put my country first above party and above every other consideration. I have had the honor of doing that since I was 17 years old and entered the United States Naval Academy,” McCain said.