Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said Tuesday night she firmly believes a woman will one day be president.
She clarified comments made last week by saying an “overwhelming majority” judges candidates based on merit rather than gender, even though some are still uncomfortable with the idea.
In an interview last week, she said a lot of people “aren’t ready” for a female president nor is there a “pent-up desire” for one.
“I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt. People don’t hold guilt for a woman,” she said at the time.
Bachmann, who mounted her own unsuccessful presidential bid in 2012, said she believes a conservative, not Hillary Clinton, would be the first female to take office.
“Well, I ran for president of the United States. Obviously, I firmly believe a woman can, should and, one day, will be president of the United States,” she said. “I think it will be a conservative woman who is our first president of the United States, and I want to encourage young women to get involved because we will have a woman.”
Clinton is seen as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination and has led the field of Republicans and Democrats in early polling.
Bachmann said women do face a double standard in the type of questions they are sometimes asked on the campaign trail, harkening back to her run and the experience of Clinton and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
But Clinton’s potential presidential bid will be hampered by questions about her time at the State Department, her healthcare proposal in the 1990s and whether she will be seen as a continuation of President Obama’s policies, Bachmann said.
“Hillary Clinton’s case will be difficult because she has to answer the question of commander in chief,” she said. “That is going to be very difficult for her in light of her failures in Benghazi.”