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. pppeedd

    That woman is insane and I am embarrassed for Minnesota.

    January 21, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. gp

    Is this really an issue?

    There is nothing wrong in what he said. If Bachmann and Republicans or some women's rights move makes this an issue, they are truly pathetic and meaningless.

    January 21, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. Joe Blow

    Come on. If you don't take the quote out of context there is no story here; much like all other "news" stories in the realm of American politriks.

    January 21, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  4. Sam H

    When I started reading this I was all ready to jump all over Arlen for such a comment. But as it turns out, he's right. By interrupting so often, she was not acting like a civilized human being, a lady in her case. Having the equipment only makes her a woman.

    January 21, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  5. Gerry NH

    Spector needs to be kicked out of politics. Come-on PA vote the old bum out.

    January 21, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  6. Connie

    I'm so sick and tired of these games the elected politicians play with each other.

    It's BOTH sides of the aisle.

    GROW UP and do the job you were elected to do!

    January 21, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. Bobbi J

    This is stupid. If Specter had been interrupting Bachmann, and she said, "act like a gentleman," would the same flap have started? I don't think so.

    "Act like a lady," means don't be obnoxious and rude... which Barbara Bachmann frequently is, and was in this case. Specter's statements were 100% correct. She's an embarrassment to her gender.

    January 21, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  8. Pam

    Why don't both of you act like ADULTS. Stupid response.

    January 21, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. Ms S Callahan

    Uh.....so when a man interrupts a conversation, perhaps he is not acting like a man? hmmm

    January 21, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. Palin/Bachmann 2012

    god help us all. lol

    January 21, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. Charles

    I could care less about either one of these grandstanding poor excuses for the people's representatives, but constant interruption of someone talking is NOT lady-like. No matter that Specter is a generation out of step twit and never should've used the term, Bachmann is rarely anything but a slavering pitbull when trying to push her agenda. Nothing in this exchange changes my opinion about either one of them.

    January 21, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Good for Sen. Specter. There's nothing "sexist" about acting like a lady – or a gentleman. And he started out by asking her nicely. Sounds like she NEEDED reminding.

    January 21, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. B

    ugh please report on something of significance

    January 21, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  14. I live in my parent's basement

    Good for him. It's about time somebody put these female politicians in their place. Talkin a bunch of junk and messin it up for everybody

    January 21, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Ken in Gainesville

    Manners? From a Republican? Not going to happen. America is going to get what it deserves - Palin, Bachmann, Beck, Limbaugh. Shallow fools in a time of crisis. Maybe they can bring Pat Robertson on board to pray for them. Pathetic!

    January 21, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. Patricia T.

    Senator Specter's words were sexist, but I think he was probably just being polite. You know, instead of questioning her intellect. I don't care if she "acts like a lady" or not - I just wish she knew more about the issues, could stick to a topic, could answer a question, and could demonstrate that she's capable of holding elected office. Just thinking back on some of her comments regarding health care and her idiotic ideas on the census are enough to cause real concern!

    The woman is just not that smart. Too bad Senator Specter said something that has caused the public to focus on his words instead of her accomplishments.

    January 21, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  17. Kate

    Yeah, Bachman, act like a lady! The things that come out of your mouth are so far from the truth. Where do you get all the stupid stuff anyway?
    Get to work and represent the people who elected you!

    January 21, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  18. D

    But she isn't a lady. I'm not really sure what she is, but I'm thinking long haired puppet of the Republican party. Yeah that's it..

    January 21, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  19. Steve

    Hear, Hear! It's about time that someone stood up to these half-witted political hacks. Arlen is my hero...and he'll have my vote!

    January 21, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  20. KFK

    Go Specter-Bachmann is all mouth. Wish you would of asked her what was done from 2000 to 2008. Republicans put our country and world into this mess and now they think they are on top because of Brown. To me he has a smart mouth just like her and Palin. His wife and daughters weren't dress like a he has a green truck with 200,000 miles, it is all a front just like Palin.

    January 21, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  21. Paul H

    Have you seen the lefties that spewed forth venom out of their mouths about Sarah Palin? Maybe they need to act like ladies as well!?

    January 21, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  22. Johnny Salami

    I simply can't abide Michele Bachmann.

    January 21, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  23. Rick

    Give me a break. This is not even a story. Bachmann was being pushy as usual. Specter could have easily said "act like an adult", but he used "lady" in place of "adult". He meant that she was acting like a CHILD, which unfortunately is par for the course when Bachmann is involved.

    January 21, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. ib

    Spector a gentleman who are you kidding after the way he talked to people in the town hall meetings.

    January 21, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  25. Walter in San Diego

    If she had said, "Act like a gentleman!", this would be a non-story. It sounds as if she has a problem with respecting others. I'm glad she was called out. It's about time people are held accountable on-the-spot for their actions! Just because she's a female doesn't mean she's allowed to get away with that non-sense. She was warned!

    January 21, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12