Hillary Clinton would likely become president if the election were held tomorrow, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday night.
McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, brushed back the assertion from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) that the United States is not ready for a female president.
Clinton is seen as a likely candidate for president in 2016 and has dominated the field of Democratic primary candidates and potential Republican opponents in early polling.
McCain made the prediction “as much as I hate to admit it,” quickly adding that he would not vote for her. He said there has been an explosion of female governors and females in Congress in recent years.
“When you look at the growth of women in the Senate, I believe now 20 of them — just a handful a few years ago,” he said.
He added: “So I just have very different reading of the American political scene.”
Twenty women are members of the Senate, while 78 hold seats in the House of Representatives. Currently, there are five female governors.
While the majority of females in Congress are Democrats, all but one female governor is Republican.
Bachmann made her comments last week, maintaining there is not a “pent-up desire” for a female president even though there are many other female elected officials.
“I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt,” she said. “People don’t hold guilt for a woman.”