January 21st, 2010
07:33 PM ET
4 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. Angelique

    I dislike Spector, but this is Stupidness with a capital S – would gentlewoman have been better? LOL
    In context it is obvious his intention was the same as if he would have said "I'll treat you like a gentleman, so act like one" after being interrupted repeatedly by a male. He was calling her out for being rude, period. He said exactly this, you're rude for interrupting me, if you wait a minute I will stop and then you can talk and I'll treat you respectfully while you do so, you should be doing the same for me. There is nothing sexist about it. Yeah, take "act like a lady" out of context and it could be anything. The Republicans continue to insult our intelligence by thinking they can spin things like this.

    January 21, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  2. Val

    Unfortunately, Ms. Bachmann makes a habit of being impolite and disrespectful.

    January 21, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. Ren from Baltimore

    Sen Specter acted very much like a Senator, very much a professional. Rep Bachman, unfortunately, chose to ignore common civility. Plain and simple, nothing sexist about Specter's behavior or words.

    Is Marchand trying to kid us into believing the opposite of what we all heard??

    January 21, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  4. rodeo clown

    Seems to me the "young and restless" are not interested in RESPECT!!! Michelle Bachmann certainly is a prime example!

    January 21, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. Chris

    On Behalf of Minnesota I would like to apologize for Michele Bachmann. She Does not represent all Minnesotans, just the spoiled rotten, rich brats who happen to reside here in Minnesota.

    January 21, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  6. Future expat

    She's a lady? I thought she was some sort of robot-rodent hybrid.

    January 21, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  7. Joe

    I can understand Mr. Specter's frustration. When your opponent keeps on interjecting your speech and does not respect your right to express your opinion on the allocated time, then there is no point of participating in a debate at all.

    I will that if Ms. Bachmann shows no respect for the freedom of speech, and does not follow the debate procedure, which I am sure includes letting the opponent finishes voicing his opinion during the allocated time, then she obviously has no respect for the democratic process.

    If she gets elected, God forbid, she will be one of those politicus who will jam her belief and opinions to other people without any care whatsoever to hear the other side. It appears this what American politics have become. Truly sad!

    January 21, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  8. Chat

    I don't care who, but there is nothing more irritating and disgusting than someone who doesn't let the other speak. I find it rather uncivilized behavior, and is a complete turn off on air.

    January 21, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. Lance

    Absolutely ridiculous......tens of thousands dead in Haiti and this is news?

    January 21, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  10. mrhapiguy

    Clearly what Mr. Specter meant was she was being unprofessional. And clearly he was right.

    January 21, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  11. Jose Vazquez

    The Liberals are becoming unglued. First Brown kicks their rear, Air America goes bankrupt and now Specter looses it. What a great week for America. Yes we can and WILL take America America back form the loony left!!!

    January 21, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  12. jd

    His head is in his butt. She isn't a lady, she is a politician.

    January 21, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  13. Hk

    Good job Specter. Michelle Bachmann is my representative in Congress and it makes me sick to my stomach. She is horrible and cares nothing about us here in MN.

    January 21, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  14. Ridgeway

    He's worn panties for years. Mr. Waffle speaks. Benedict Arnold had more character than him.

    January 21, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  15. Beverly

    and did anyone expect anything more from Michele Bachmann, this is what the Republicans do, shout, interupt and so on........ they spew all there lie's and or mistruthes, when its your turn to talk, her comes the interuptions and the yelling. I think they teach this type of behavior over there at FOX NEWS!

    January 21, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  16. Jared

    Michele Bachmann isn't a lady, she's a poster child for ignorance, hatemongering, and lack of education. Spector treated her with far more class than she deserves.

    January 21, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  17. J E B

    someone in MN please stop electing fools

    January 21, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  18. Chris

    Michele Bachmann is a complete joke. She's just a party frontman but whe is intellectually incompetent, rude and cares more about the party than addressing issues. How she got elected in Minnesota I can't figure out. But nothing is funnier than seeing the mockery Chris Matthews made of her during the 2008 presidential election on live television. He totally called her out and she completely fumbled, showing her political incompetence.

    January 21, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  19. Walter

    Senator Specter is just now discovering what it's like to be on the receiving end of right-wing hate speech. If he wanted civil discourse, he should have stayed in the Democratic cloakroom.

    January 21, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. Michael Minzey

    Hopefully, with any luck, the turncoat self preservationist Specter will be thrown out of office with the rest of the arrogant career politians in November. It is mandatory that ALL INCUMBENTS regardless of party be voted out. This is from a life long REPUBLICAN sickened by 8 years of republican "fiscal responsibility" and now this bunch of loser liberal spenders. They all make me sick. The only thing that makes me more nausious than having Stabenow and Levin as my Senators would be to have either Reid or Pelosi. Unbelievable.

    January 21, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  21. Jimmy Jojo

    Bachmann is an embarrassment to her state, the nation, the office she holds, to womankind, to humanity. She is a human stain. She makes me feel ashamed to be alive.

    January 21, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  22. Jason

    I see nothing wrong with what he said or how he said it. He's an elderly guy and didn't berate her in any way. He simply let her know that he wanted the same respect he gave her when it was her turn to speak.

    January 21, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. Lindsay

    Goodness, why does this make news? Had Specter interrupted Backmann and she said "act like a gentleman", no one would call that sexist. So why is this? Bachmann should have given Specter respect and not interrupted him, as Specter gave her respect and didn't interrupt her. The Republican Party is seizing on this in a vain attempt to disestablish Specter and gain voters, rather than because of any real opposition to 'sexism'.

    January 21, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  24. new york

    What can I say? Everyone knows Arlen is a moron.

    January 21, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  25. Concerned

    She belongs on the Jerry Springer show at least as much as she belongs in the Republican ranks of the House of Representatives. She is very radical, and she has a consistent history of rude and insulting behavior toward the Democrats.

    January 21, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
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