June 26th, 2008
10:20 AM ET
13 years ago

McCain camp: Obama puts himself first

[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.”

Watch: McCain talk about putting his country first

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.”

Watch: Romney says Obama puts himself '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.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. Independent in Iowa

    I've been saying this all along. He changes the rules to suit him. Just like how he forced his way into become a senator in the first place – denying the people a choice, right to choose.

    June 26, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. Enlightened voter

    Of couse Obama puts himself first. We need him to take care of himself and get elected so he can take care of the rest of us. I love you Obama, please use us as you will great leader and messiah.

    June 26, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. Belle2

    Absolutely!!

    I may agree with the policies Obama purports to believe-today. But I firmly believe McCain has more character!

    June 26, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. Nikki, Florida

    Didn't Obama work for civil rights for VERY LITTLE money (like the rest of us) in inner-city Chicago?

    What has McCash ever done besides take that silver spoon out of his mouth for 5 seconds to call his wife bad names?

    June 26, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. Susan Cusson, Mohave Valley, Arizona 86440

    Yes he does. A new Republican.

    June 26, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. Bud

    Never put his career on the line?

    How about turning down lucrative job offers at the BEGINNING of his career so that he could be a community organizer in Chicago?

    How about voting against the war BEFORE most in Congress felt it was politically expedient to speak out against Bush/the war? That took guts at a time when he was BY FAR in the minority. That's the kind of thing that could have been a career-killer.

    June 26, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. gurarro

    Reaching for straws...Reaching for straws. You gotta do better than that to win this election, Republicans......

    June 26, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Anonymous

    Just keep throwing stuff at Obama until something sticks... Here's something... I heard that when he was 2 years old he was caught picking his nose up to the second knuckle...lol

    Oh, I can hear the "Pumas" now... ," Oh that's it, I'm voting for Mccain... How could we elect someone who's been caught blatantly picking his nose..."

    Mccain, for you to win would surprise even you...

    June 26, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Linda from Prescott AZ

    McCain is typical of his republican roots. Let's ot stick to the subject at hand, let's call names and make judgemental remarks about the opposition.

    Go Obama!

    June 26, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. MikeH

    That's hilarious, which McCain campaign moron thought up that line of attack?

    June 26, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. Alex

    Look I know mccain campaign is reading these comments.. listen more to Obama's speeches. Have you heard when he got asked, you promise all these things, how would we need you would do these things when in the white house. He answered, I wouldn't be running for president if I couldn't make these changes. Two, he said he is spending so much time away from his family, and willing to sacrifice this time, so he can improve his kids life in the future. He doesn't say up front, I am moving doing this for american people, because it is true, people do not care about others that are not related to them. WHy would he care about american people? Why would McCain care? They prob both don't, but it seems obama has two little daughters that he greatly cares about...

    June 26, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Shane

    IF THAT IS THE CASE, WHY DID HE HAVE HIS FUNDRAISERS PAY OFF PART OF HILLARY CLINTON'S DEBT. MC CAIN YOU ARE VERY OUT OF TOUCH OF WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 26, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. Obama-Junkie, IL

    Poor GOP, don't know how to consistently handle Obama. First the GOP was calling Obama "out of touch" and an "elitist". Then the GOP started trying to call Obama "another Jimmy Carter". Now the GOP is saying Obama "puts himself first".

    Having Mitt Romney campaign for McCain is funny and sad, especially when they don't talk about the issues important to Americans.

    June 26, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Terri in Fl

    Every time the GOP decides to attack instead of discuss the pro's and con's of their decisions, I'm lead to believe they have no other solutions other then attacking. Who needs that!

    June 26, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Heidi

    Does everything that McCains camp puts out have to go back to

    Calling upon McCain’s early days as a prisoner of war...

    We know he was a POW back in the day. Lets talk about what he has done lately to put it all on the line.

    June 26, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. Sean

    Do the Republicans care to elaborate, or are they satisfied just throwing out whatever baseless claims they can think up? I read the memo, and aside from his turnaround on financing his campaign, everything they claim about Obama is either a lie, or simply misleading.

    Sounds like the Republicans are grasping at straws.

    June 26, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. No to McCain

    McCain, you're a joke. Go ahead and just pick Nader as your V.P.

    Obama has never put anyone else first? How about turning down a jobs on Wall Street or better to work in the inner-city of Chicago for the people who had no voice?

    Or how about speaking up with wisdom against Iraq (more than once, more than one speech) when it was popular to do so.

    How about when you JOHN MCCAIN left your wife while she was ill and disfigured and cheated on her with Cindy! McCain, when have YOU put others before yourself?

    I am currently waiting in moderation for this to be posted.

    June 26, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. Obama Supporter from FL

    Oh no. I thought it was funny when Guiliani used 9/11 in every sentence, but if McCain has to mention being a POW in every sentence until November, I'm not going to be able to handle it...

    June 26, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. sherry

    Oh for goodness sake will we never hear the end of the republican camp complain.

    Whine Whine Whine........Just grow up McCain and admit and realize Obama is a better man than you and the american people think so too

    June 26, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. Bob

    Which is why Obama sacrificed a wealthy career in high-profile lawyering to be a community organizer on the streets of Chicago. Because he always put's his interests first. The McCain gun is about as loaded right now as pellet gun.

    June 26, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. No to McCain

    McCain, you're a joke. Go ahead and just pick Nader as your V.P.

    Obama has never put anyone else first? How about turning down a jobs on Wall Street or better to work in the inner-city of Chicago for the people who had no voice?

    Or how about speaking up with wisdom against Iraq (more than once, more than one speech) when it WASN'T popular to do so.

    How about when you JOHN MCCAIN left your wife while she was ill and disfigured and cheated on her with Cindy! McCain, when have YOU put others before yourself?

    I am currently waiting in moderation for this to be posted.

    June 26, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  22. Terry

    I think Romney wants the VP.

    Just say no to poligamy.

    Go away GOP. You aren't going to win this.

    June 26, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. Nancy McKinney

    romney should talk, he is stitting in the loser's lounge!

    HOW CAN A MAN WHO GAVE UP MAKING MILLIONS TO GO TO WORK AS A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER FOR $20,000 BE SELF-SERVING?

    PLEASE, THIS IS NOT GOING TO STICK!

    June 26, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. Loretta from California

    Ha!!!!Ha!!!!Ha!!!!. A member of the conservative GOP party making this statement. Ha!!!!Ha!!!!Ha!!!

    This selfish group of "for the wealthy only" politicians are calling someone selfish. Ha!!! Ha!!...............................................................Ha!!!

    June 26, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. James, SC

    WHAT IS THIS HORSE CRAP?!

    McCain knows that he could not have left before his subordinates or else he would have been branded a coward and kicked out of the navy! CODE of CONDUCT.

    Read it and learn the truth.

    June 26, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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