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. Dan

    Sorry, but gotta go w/ Specter on this one. There's so little dignity in politics these days as is. Rude is rude, and people who would be called "gentlemen" and "ladies" need to earn the title through their conduct. That's why they have words like "lout" and "boor".

    January 21, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  2. renaldo

    Can a neanderthal woman really be a lady?

    January 21, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  3. Scott Grundy

    Something Politicians should come to understand. Shouting over each other is undignified. It only leads to rating increases for tabloid journalists. It does nothing to get people to respect your views and thus change their vote in your favour.

    January 21, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. dready1rasta

    I guess the PC term in this circumstance would have been "gentlewoman"...........C'mon man!!!!!!!!!!!!!...is NRSC spokes"woman" Amber Wilkerson Merchand sexist by stating Sen Specter should act like a "gentleMAN"?.......idiots one and all.

    January 21, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. Joseph Piatt

    Specter is, as always, a democrat in name only, and not worth the trouble.

    January 21, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. jane

    Many of us have not forgotten how Sen. Spector treated a "lady" during the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill controversy.

    January 21, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. Julie

    It's ridiculous to be offended by this statement. He could have said the same thing to man - except he would have used the word gentleman. Would that have been offensive? I don't think so. Granted, he should have used the word "professional" instead of lady, but whatever!!! People need to relax and not get offended so easily.

    January 21, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. hobart

    Why be civil when behaving like a Nazi, i.e. being a liar, a historical revisionist, a my-way-or -the-highway intolerant authoritarian who thinks that anyone who disagrees with her about anything is the epitome of evil whose eradication justifies her own unethical behavior, when all of that works so well?

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    January 21, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  9. Mike

    Sounds like a "cat fight" to me. Haaaaaa.

    January 21, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. Capsaicin

    Michelle is just following the Conservative game plan and emulating Limbaugh, Beck, Savage, Coulter, Gingrich, Tea Partiers, etc–talk louder, speak over, cut off others, be aggressive and confrontational.

    This is what wins in America if the public does not express its frustration with the dumbing down of discourse and actually think about the best way to fix our nation. Specter should know this is the game plan because he was an (R) not long ago.

    January 21, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  11. Tom Joad

    How is it possible that Minnesota can send this nut case Bachmann to Congress?

    January 21, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  12. Tammy

    Uneducated, loud mouths like Bachmann and Wilkerson, have intelligent to say, so they raise their voices to try and drown out the ones speaking with honesty and common sense.
    Bachmanns own even find her offensive

    January 21, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  13. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    Geez, whatever. Aren't there more important things to worry about like, oh, I don't know...THE ECONOMY???

    January 21, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  14. Anthony D

    Some may think of Specter's comment as antiquated–coming from a time when people with manners (whatever happened to those?) were expected to act like ladies and gentlemen. I think calling Specter sexist is ridiculous because the charge implies being a lady is inferior to being a gentleman. From a shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist to a Southern congressman who forgot the meaning of "Southern hospitality," I think we could use more ladies and gentlemen when it comes to discourse.

    January 21, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  15. mcdmackey

    Just another sign that the GOP will do anything to cause problems.

    January 21, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  16. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Bachmann should speak less and listen more, she might even learn something, but I doubt it.

    January 21, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  17. aliou Jacksonville, FL

    I am all for asking republicans to act civilized.

    January 21, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  18. Aaron P

    Way ta go Arlen.

    January 21, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  19. Luisa48

    Well, interrupting while someone else is talking IS rude. A lot of people who are supposed to be "educated" are rude. Makes you wonder what their parents are or were like and what university they graduated from.

    January 21, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  20. Mike in Dallas

    Michelle Bachman is a disgrace. Every show she appears on she is interrupting the other guests and launching into little arrogant tyrades. What a buffoon. She is not a lady.

    January 21, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  21. Tylerkad

    Good for him, he just earned my respect. Bachman doesn't deserve to breath the oxygen she does let alone be credible to talk on the radio.

    January 21, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  22. JoJo

    How is telling a woman he thinks she is a lady belittling her? All he was doing was asking that she show the same respect he was showing her by not interrupting. Perhaps the next time, instead of calling her a lady, he should just tell her to keep her trap shut while he's talking. Maybe that would be less offensive to the Republican party.

    January 21, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  23. Mike in CO

    He should have told her to act like a sane person.

    January 21, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. ben

    Wow. Spector +1.

    January 21, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  25. Brandonious

    Wow, so the NRSC, instead of calling out Bachmann for her bad manners, takes the low road yet again and bashes Specter for reminding her of things she should have learned when she was 4 years old. He should have told her to act like a grownup.

    January 21, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
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