Washington – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Tuesday declared their own war over women.

The Democratic and Republican presidential front-runners signaled a heated general election clash over gender after they both swept much closer to closing out their nominations.

Clinton relished a chance to lay into Trump in her victory speech in Philadelphia after winning four out of the five Northeastern primary contests.

“The other day, Mr. Trump accused me, of playing the, quote, ‘woman card,’ ” Clinton said. “Well, if fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in.”

Trump wasted no time in taking up Clinton’s cue, as he made his own victory speech after his five-for-five showing in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island on Tuesday.

“I think the only card she has is the women’s card,” Trump said a short while later in New York. “She has got nothing else going. Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she would get 5% of the vote. And the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her.”

Trump continued the attack Wednesday in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day”

“She is a woman. She is playing the woman card left and right. She didn’t play it last time with Obama. But she’s playing it much harder this time and she will be called on it,” he said. “If she were a man and she was the way she is, she would get virtually no votes.”

Democrats are convinced that there will be a substantial gender gap favoring their candidate in the general election owing to Trump’s past unflattering rhetoric on women and incidents like his recent comment — later walked back — that women who get an abortion should be punished.

The contrast will be all the more acute because Clinton is trying to make history by becoming the first woman president and clearly sees her past role as an icon for women’s rights and issues of gender equality as a huge advantage.

But Trump’s comment showed that he is ready for the fight, and thinks he can turn it to his advantage.

As reported by CNN