January 21st, 2010
07:33 PM ET
5 years ago

Specter to Bachmann: 'Act like a lady'

Rep. Michele Bachmann was told to 'act like a lady' by Sen. Arlen Specter on Wednesday.
Rep. Michele Bachmann was told to 'act like a lady' by Sen. Arlen Specter on Wednesday.

Washington (CNN) - A heated political debate and charges of sexism erupted on Philadelphia talk radio Wednesday when Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pennsylvania, told Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, to "act like a lady."

Specter and Bachmann appeared on WPHT radio to discuss the what President Obama has accomplished in his first year in office. When Specter began to respond to Bachmann's claim that Scott Brown's special election victory in Massachusetts was a repudiation of the Obama administration's policies, Bachmann interjected - to the clear frustration of the longtime Senator.

"I didn't interrupt you," Specter said. "This is beginning to sound like a TV talk show."

When Bachmann interrupted again, Specter angrily responded. "Now wait a minute, I'll stop and you can talk," he said. "I'll treat you like a lady, so act like one."

"I am a lady," Bachmann retorted.

She again interrupted Specter later in the interview. And again, Specter told her to "act like a lady." Bachmann one more time confirmed that she is a lady.

"Well I think you are too, that's why I'm treating you like one," Specter said. "But just don't interrupt me."

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is hoping to defeat Specter this November if he survives a Democratic primary challenge from Rep. Joe Sestak, seized on the comment

"Instead of belittling his female colleagues, Arlen Specter should take his own advice and act like a gentleman," said NRSC spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson Marchand. She said that the five-term Senator would be held accountable by women in his state "if he makes it to the General Election in November."

Calls to both the Specter and Bachmann press offices were not immediately returned.


Filed under: Arlen Specter • Extra • Michele Bachmann • Popular Posts
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. chedar

    Batterman is such a loud mouth brainless woman. SHe deserves to be shouted to act like a woman. Otherwise, she acts like a loose dog looking for a lawn to pooh.

    January 21, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  2. Joe

    The day that Bachmann is voted out of office is the day Americans can rejoice.

    January 21, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. Matt

    Ridiculous. Who cares? Apparently it's belittling to say "act like a lady" but not to say "act like a gentlemen." What if I said stop acting "like a baby"? Good thing babies don't vote. All the guy wanted was a little bit of mutual respect – he wanted to have a conversation, a dialogue which can never happen if no one takes the time to listen. Politicians think that their primary responsiblitity is to talk, and talk loud – leadership comes from those that listen. Mrs Bachmann, a quick word of advise, it has nothing to do with you being a women, it has everything to do with you being a loud mouth.

    January 21, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  4. john

    So it's politically incorrect now to call someone a lady or a gentlemen?

    January 21, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. JON

    Bachmann is no lady she needs to fly back to OZ.

    January 21, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. lifelong democrat

    Democrats cajole women during election time, they want their votes; when election is over, women are told to shutup and stay in the corner. I don't know why a lot of women doesn't get this? Democrats have been doing it for years. Take for example last election, Hillary was the best candidate and receive more votes than Obama, they even take away some votes from her during Democrat Convention and award it to Obama; they choose Obama over Hillary – reason for doing so? Because Hillary is a woman, as far as democrats are concern a woman must learn to shutup her trap, they're only useful during election season. That's their purpose. I'm not ashame to admit what my party is doing and how we treat women. It's just the way it is, women don't mind though, they keep on coming back. LOL

    January 21, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. kakjr

    Speaking as a male constituent of Arlen Specter's; this is embarrassing! Hopefully the current polls are correct and Snarlin Arlen and his 1950's mentality will be forced into retirement in November. The truly amazing aspect of this is that Specter is going to need as many PA women to vote for him as posible and he just alienated a whole lot of them.

    January 21, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  8. greenliz85

    Go Specter. I am a woman from PA and he will not be held accountable by me. Michelle Bachman is a disgrace and completely disrespectful.

    January 21, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  9. Scalliwag

    She's a loudmouth idiot. He should have just told her if she acted like a lady he'd treat her like one.

    January 21, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Andrew

    not really a huge fan of Specter, but I see what he meant by act like a lady. He was being a gentleman and letting her finish and she couldn't return the favor in typical GOP fashion.

    January 21, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. southern cousin

    Specter is another liberal chauvinist pig that won't be in Congress after this year. So glad he joined the party of greed, he definitely is one of them. Arrogant and elitist, trying to steal the money of working Americans for the dope smokers. That is a liberal attitude.

    January 21, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  12. Mary

    Is there any chance that the Republicans and the Democrats will EVER get along? How about reporting on stories where there is bi-partisanship – the media just loves controversy, but the nation needs some evidence that these parties are working together. And this kind of story just fuels the fire of discontent.

    January 21, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  13. Cliff Vegas

    Specter's choice in words is unfortunate, but his reaction is understandable givent hat Bachmann is often rude and lacks the courtesy to hold her own when others are talking. Were she a man, I would be hard pressed to call her a 'gentleman' either.

    January 21, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  14. Donkey Party

    Not a Specter fan, but serves her right for acting like the lunatic she is.

    January 21, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  15. John, Brooklyn, NY

    "Lady" is not a sexist term. It is a term of respect...usually earned by exemplory deportment and behavior. The male equivalent is "gentleman" – again, not a sexist term, only one of respect.

    Spector was not, in fact, sexist. He was pointing out the fact that Congresswoman Bachmann was not behaving with exemplory deportment – not do mention common decency.

    January 21, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  16. Non-party

    And the point of this story????????

    January 21, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  17. Independent voter and thinker

    Reading and listening all this make feel sick about both of them. I wish we can have candidates really Independents from both of the parties. The only way the country will really move forward is by showing both Democrats and Republicans they are not entlited to our votes. If just for once everyone goes an re-register non declared, decline to state, independent voter and thinker maybe just maybe all these politicians will work hard for our votes and our country.

    January 21, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  18. Deanna in Denver

    So what? Would there be this uproar if she had asked him to act like a gentleman?

    January 21, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  19. TCM

    Yeah..you tell her spector. Just because she's got more balls than you doesn't mean she's not a lady!

    January 21, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  20. lieNoMore

    Bachmann==Palin==braindead idiots.

    It is suddenly sexism of belittling if someone is asked to behave like a gentleman or a lady?? Come on being a loudmouth, impolite, jerk transcends some phony "ism".

    Specter is one of the most intelligent people in our political system and deserves respect whether you like him or agree with him or not. If Bachmann was male the media would be calling her a punk, would Amber be crying about that???

    January 21, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  21. obama the liar

    Arlen Specter, you DO NOT deserve any respect from anyone...You sold your soul for political gain and will soon see that gain come to an abrupt rejection by the people... back to your closet.

    January 21, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  22. Dave C - NJ

    Bachmann is scum of the earth. I love her spin machine trying to push it back onto Specter.

    January 21, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. fuzzynormal

    The woman is nuts.

    January 21, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  24. Richard Green

    I heard clips of their conversation today. I have to side with Specter on this. When it was Arlen Specter's turn to speak, Michele Bachmann didn't like what he was saying so she started to talk over him. As A.S. tried to continue, M.S. started talking louder. I thought she was rude and I'm glad he called her on it.

    January 21, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  25. Nicole

    Good for Arlen Specter. Once in a while she should try shutting her mouth and actually listening to other people! She might learn something.

    January 21, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
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