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. Kiah

    LMAO! McCain camp issues a NEW hit on Obama daily. His campaign is SO over.

    June 26, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. R.I.F.

    What's next. McCain and the GOP has ABSLOUTLY NOTHING to run on so every day they attack Obama's character. What about the issues? The GOP attacked Kerry's character and I guess the American people were convinced that Bush was the one that you could have a beer with and look what that's gotten us in to. Now those same people can't even afford to buy a beer to have with him. How about some issues McShame.

    June 26, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. independent

    obama has always put the american people and his supporters first,so shut-up,mcbush.WE DONT BELIEVE YOU!

    June 26, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. al





    June 26, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. mol

    Besides being a former POW, what has McCain ever done to "put his career on the line"? Yes, we all know and respect that he was a POW, but I would really love to hear him talk about something other than war...how about what he's done for the poor? Oh, that's right, he has nothing to say on that issue because the only Americans he represents are the wealthy!

    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!

    P.S. McCain: get some new lines and stop playing off the Obama campaign's!!!

    June 26, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. BrendaF, Mesquite, TX

    Just another typical Republican diversion. When the McCain camp has nothing of substance to talk about, they resort to silliness. We get it guys, we know what you are attempting to do. It won't work – we've had nearly 8 years of practice of making our way through the BS.

    June 26, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. Mark Webb

    ... but McCain puts himself after???
    Simply pathetical!!

    June 26, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Peter in PA

    Is this all what republicans have against Obama?

    I have no doubt McShame will go in flame on November 4, 2008.

    June 26, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. FactCheck

    Wow. A spoiled brat who got a nice post in the service thanks to his dad, cheated on his first wife and had an "inappropriate" relationship with a lobbyist calling *anyone's* character into issue smacks of hypocrisy.

    June 26, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. Generation X

    Okay McCain, just like you put Cindy over your first wife. LMAO

    June 26, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. NC Voter

    Of course this is true. Obama's principles are as permanent as a disposable diaper (and we know what those are filled with) If you think he's shifty now, just wait until he becomes president (IF he becomes Persident)

    June 26, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. Bobby, Triangle, VA

    To be a war hero, you would have to actually save soldier's lives or put your own life on the line to save a soldier's life. John McCain did neither! He only holds the title "war hero" because of who his father and grandfather was during that time. Truth be told, John McCain was a loser then and a bigger loser now!

    June 26, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. @everyamericans

    This is an old trick to say I serve in the Military and Obama did not!

    There is a story on BBC that says McCain was NEVER tortured in Vietnam.

    So all this claim about putting country first may not hold true, but OLD MAN McSHAME will say ANYTHING to get elected!

    What a shame old McBush?!

    June 26, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Mk

    this is laughable. The Republicans have put themselves first for 8 YEARS. McCain will just continue that trend. He is the Bush clone.
    If McCain had put US first then MAYBE, just MAYBE he would have voted AGAINST going to war in Iraq. He has told us all HE HATES WAR, but I guess he only hates war when there is an election going on.

    June 26, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. aaron from minneapolis

    More negativity coming from camp McCain. Talk about the issues McCain. What a loser and its looking worse every day.

    June 26, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Abbey

    Bub,Bud,Bud for the millionth time BO did NOT vote against the war as he was still a state politician in Illinois at the time. There is no way to know what he would have done had he been in on the actual vote. I do know that in his 2004 convention speech, he conveniently omitted any reference to Kerry and Edwards and their poor judgment in voting for the war, even thought we all know his opinion of HRC for voting yes. I guess he's much more of an old line politico than his followers want to admit.

    June 26, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. Eric

    McCain, Romney, Republicans... what else you got? Is this it..?
    Is this the latests talking point... Ha..Ha.. You won't win! What a joke...
    Issues, Please! - Health care, economy, taxes, Iraq, Environment ...

    Obama 08

    June 26, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Kerri in NC

    Bless their hearts... they continue to flail about in search of something-ANYTHING- that will stick to Barack and knock him down. I actually think it's part of the reason Obama's numbers continue to climb. So, thanks, boyz!

    Newsflash for the GOP: People are sick and tired of the dirty, mean, off-topic, ridiculous tactics & distractions. Game Over!

    June 26, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Mike in Columbus

    And John puts special interest groups and lobbiest first.

    June 26, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    these crazy kooks are relying on the fact that americans are too busy or dumb to figure out the truth; sounds very ELITIST to me.

    dont support their nonsense and lies any longer, it's sooo old and soooo pathetically obvious. they are threatened bullies who know their days are numbered and are coming up with new desperate, pathetic, and TOTALLY TRANSPARENT lies every day!

    show them americans DO have brains, and we DONT want these ridiculous neoCONs around anymore!

    June 26, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. David

    Nobody likes you Romney. Stop trying to steal McCain's thunder. And no, you're not going to be VP either.

    Obama 08

    June 26, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Eric

    No McCain. PERIOD!

    June 26, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. captain

    Every time the GOP makes the election about Obama, what they're really saying is, "We've been in charge for the last 8 years and we've got nothing to run on. Nothing!"

    Do you honestly believe that if the economy was doing well, they'd be taking this line of attack.

    June 26, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. Jon

    This is funny. If any of you Obama lovers had a clue as to what his economic proposals would do to the money in your pocket not to mention what it would do to the economy of the country, you would not be supporting him. The fact is that if you educate yourselves on the dollars and cents of his proposals and the long term effect instead of the glamorious here and now retoric you would not support him. I am an independent and vote on the policies of the caniditate. I have educated myself on Obama's proposals and the fact is that our country will be so much worse off in four years if Obama becomes President. The fact is that 3/4 of what he is proposing will not get through congress. I want a president that will work with congress to get things done. Not pander to the fatherest wing of there party.

    June 26, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. Greg

    Dictators usually put themselves first. So it makes perfect sense that Obama puts himself first. After all, he has the potential of being the United States' first dictator. A sad day that will be if it comes to be.

    "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."

    You have got to be joking!! Are you kidding?? Please enlighten me as to how socialism is the answer to America's problems.

    June 26, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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