January 21st, 2010
07:33 PM ET
8 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. Sandra

    Brava for Sen. Arlen Specter, it seems these days politicians (especially the Republic Party) have forgotten what respect, decency, and proper decorum is, politics has gotten "ugly" and those rude politicians are quickly losing my respect. I guess at least she didn't shout "You Lie!"

    January 21, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. John

    Oh my god! He insulted women by asking one to act like a lady?? When she clearly was not? OK then, she should act like a gender-neuter human being. It's rude to interrupt regardless of gender.

    January 21, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    That ain't no lady Arlen.........I'm not even sure it's human.

    January 21, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Interrupting is rude...he called her on it.

    January 21, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. John

    She acts like a Harpie... oops, I shouldn't have said that. I apologize to all Harpies.

    January 21, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. Scott B in DC

    Michell Bachmann does not have the common sense that was given a common fly. She is loud, brash, and says nothing. It would be different if she had something intelligent to say, but she doesn't. Maybe, someday, the good people of Minnesota will tell her that her place is at home and not in the House!

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

    Bachmann is a nut job who goes off all the time. Good job Specter. If she interrupts she should be called out.

    January 21, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  8. Lilarose in Oregon

    Since I am a Bachman descendant, I am hopiing this bimbo Michelle Bachmann (families change their names over time) is not a relation of mine.

    She IS a big-mouth and she won't last long. She is still quite young and stupid.

    January 21, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. John

    Any outrage over this is absurd. Senator Specter was treating her with respect. She, clearly, doesn't recognize that curtsey and instead feigns outrage over a simple request for her to not be rude.

    January 21, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  10. Justin

    Seems like he was politely asking not to be interrupted. Don't see an issue here. Of course I'm sure some people would be more than happy to make something up.

    January 21, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  11. Rock

    I guess people forget in English a lady is an opposite of a gentleman. And he implied her to be polite. If this sexist everything is.

    January 21, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. Memphis Slim

    And how does a LADY act?

    Can he ACT like a man?

    January 21, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  13. S. E. Umland

    "Belittling his female colleagues", are you kidding? What if he had told a man, "I'll treat you like a gentleman, so act like one"? Moreover, if there was something wrong with Specter's comment, isn't it hypocritical for the spokeswoman to suggest he "should take his own advice and act like a gentleman"?

    How is this a story? Reporters need to ignore this sort of stuff and I need to stop reading CNN's website.

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

    Bachman is a rude, hateful, divisive polititian (the nicest label I can find.) Specter gave her way more respect than she deserved. Marchand's remarks are typical Republican. They are rude but never admit it and always point fingers away from themselves. I've never heard this woman say a positive thing in her life. Bachman is one of the group that call themselves Christian while spewing old testament hate. I think maybe Jesus wants his teachings accepted if you claim to be a follower. Just guessing on that.

    January 21, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  15. Frank from Gilroy

    Bachmann is a nit wit! And proves it everytime she opens her mouth.
    Palin/Bachmann in 2012

    January 21, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. Courtney Anne

    Michele Bachmann is definitley not a lady. She needs to keep her mouth shut. She lies and twists the truth more often than not.

    Courtney Anne from Ft.Myers, FL

    January 21, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. in AK

    Spector was getting desparate to be re-elected when he changed parties, and now finds himself behind in polls ha!! he's going to lose his re-election! ha!

    January 21, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  18. Really?

    Being female, I don't see anything wrong with what Mr. Specter said or did. I was brought up with manners, and one of the lessons I've learned is that it is impolite to interrupt someone who is speaking (although I've noticed this seems to be a popular Republican tactic to distract from the issue, but I digress). Just as it would be 'ungentlemanly' for Mr. Specter to interrupt Mrs. Bachman, it is 'unladylike' for her to interrupt. Pointing out someone's gender does not automatically make them sexist. I'm not a big fan of Mr. Specter, but I think this is just a non-issue being made in to something in order to distract from the message.

    January 21, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. Jesus Francisco

    Michelle is no lady, she's a barracuda!!

    January 21, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  20. Andrew

    So the guy got annoyed by the woman interrupting him, I don't quite see why this is news worthy. In fact that was the rather polite way to go about telling the other not to interrupt, there are a lot more vulgar ways of saying "shut up". (Shut up might be trademarked however by O'Reilly.)

    If you make a claim, you owe it to the other person to allow them to comment. It's as simple as that.

    January 21, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  21. Nick , California

    Ha Ha.. What he should have said is act like an adult!! These people are paid to act like children.. If people are dumb enough to think that one party is responsible for the terrible state of the country are just crazy.. This type of crap needs to stop.. My 9 month old daughter acts better than this.. As far as belittling Michele is completely stupid.. This lady is playing the victim card! If McCain and Palin won the election we would still have the same unemployment rate.. and the economy would still be in the tank.. besides where are all the alternative ideas by the repubs.. all they can agree on is that they want our president to fail! I hope they win some seats so that we can officially say that they can't produce crap for the middle class! For all the repubs screaming about less government.. you don't make sense because the free market should self adjust without government intervention, but yet you want the government to do something about it??? Didn't you want the banks and auto industry to fail because of the bad choices they made.. so shouldn't this economy rebound without government help??

    January 21, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. Dan Holiday

    Ok let's hear you dems defend this one. Oh wait, seeing as how sexist and misogynistic you all are (i.e. your comments regarding Sarah Palin and so forth) I doubt you will have a problem with it...lol. Nice to see that sexism is alive and well within the Democrat rank and file.

    January 21, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  23. Ken in NC

    Bachmann is a lady? WOW now that's news. She's never acted like one. Always acting like some idiot to me. She should have allowed the Senaotr to make his comments as he allowed her to make her responses. She is just a rude ignorant politician.

    January 21, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  24. usualone

    From anything I've read about Bachmann, she certainly doesn't act like a lady. In this day and age, I am fearful people like her kind of behavior. They think this is strong. Unfortunately, Senator Specter has been around when people with opposing views did not belittle the other. That definitely isn't the case today as so many blogs illustrate. What is interesting is that those who write the most insulting comments NEVER ever present constructive ideas. Civility is disappearing at a great pace in politics.

    January 21, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  25. nathan

    This is an outrage! I can't believe how sexist he is! What centruy is HE Fro...oh. He's a democrat. OK that' different.

    January 21, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
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