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Obama: Augusta National Should Let Women Be Members

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President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner play on the first hole during a game of golf on June 18, 2011 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner play on the first hole during a game of golf on June 18, 2011 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House spokesman said President Barack Obama believes women should be admitted as members to the all-male Augusta National, home of the Masters golf tournament.

White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday that Obama’s “personal opinion is that women should be admitted” to the golf club. Carney said it was “up to the club to decide” but Obama told him he personally thinks women should be welcome.

“We’re kind of long past the time when women should be excluded from anything,” Carney said.

One of the club’s longtime sponsors, IBM, has a new female CEO, Virginia Rometty. The last four CEOs at IBM, all male, have been invited to be members.

The chairman of Augusta National this week has said the club will decide for itself whom to allow in its ranks.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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