Huffpost Politics

Masters 2012: Politicians Say Augusta National Golf Club Should Allow Women To Join

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AP

Bipartisan agreement can be rare in Washington, but politicians from both parties are coming out in favor of allowing women to join the all-male August National Golf Club, home of the annual Masters Tournament.

"Don't you think it's time Augusta National joined the 21st century - or the 20th - and allowed women members?" Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tweeted Friday.

Republicans candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich also said they believe that women should be allowed to join. The GOP hopefuls' comments came after the Obama administration addressed the issue Thursday.

"He believes, his personal opinion is, that women should be admitted," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters. "We are kind of long past the time when women should be excluded from anything."

HuffPost's Sam Stein reports:

Membership at Augusta has been all male since its opening in 1933. While women were allowed to play as guests of members, their formal exclusion from the club led to a hot-button political debate that has continued over the past few decades. Martha Burk, former chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, led a high-profile protest of Augusta in 2002, prompting a seemingly annual return to the topic of the legal rights of private institutions to determine their membership guidelines.

This year's discussion has two notable wrinkles. IBM, which sponsors the Masters and whose top official has routinely been given membership, is now led by a female CEO, Virginia Rometty. Secondly, the White House will host a summit on Friday geared toward women in the workplace.

See what politicians have to say about Augusta National:

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