Romney, Obama Agree on One Thing: Let Women Join Augusta

Mitt Romney and President Obama Both think Augusta National Golf Club should admit women.

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Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have one thing to agree upon: Women should be admitted as members to the all-male Augusta National Golf Club.

[See pictures of Mitt Romney on the campaign trail.]

President Obama got the ball rolling Thursday when his spokesman made it clear that he supports the admission of women to the club, where the Masters golf tournament is being held this week. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama believes it is "up to the club to decide" but his "personal opinion is that women should be admitted."

Romney, the Republican presidential front-runner, followed suit shortly thereafter when he was asked about the issue.

He said he, too, endorsed letting women become members.

[Read Romney, Obama Try to Woo Women Voters Through Their Wallets.]

"Of course I am not a member of Augusta," Romney told reporters. "I don't know if I would qualify. My golf game is not that good. If I could run Augusta, which isn't likely to happen, of course I'd have women."

The Democrats and Republicans are waging a fierce war for the support of women in the November election. The candidates' Augusta comments seemed part of their maneuvering for the female vote.

The issue is presently salient because the Masters tournament is underway, drawing attention to the issue, and because IBM, one of the club's longtime sponsors, has a new female CEO, Virginia Rometty. The last four CEO's of IBM, who were male, were invited to be members of Augusta. Rometty has apparently not been invited.

Club chairman Billy Payne told reporters that club membership is a private matter and declined to discuss it further.

  • Read Why Romney and Obama Are Both Out of Touch.
  • See pictures of Obama's re-election campaign.
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