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. Craig

    Give me a break! If the big mouth can't keep her mouth shut and show respect, she is far from a lady. And don't try to spin things and act like the victim.

    January 21, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. Albert K. L.A., CA

    It's an old political ploy.if you can't impress them with facts or knowledge, then razzle-dazzle them with interruptions and other bull-crap. Like most Republicans, Bachman only has razzle-dazzle.

    January 21, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. acgriffin429

    what type of man is named ARLEN?

    he should have been asked if his 80 year old equipment works.
    Arlen the squatter!

    January 21, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. Lora

    Why don't the Republicans learn to just stay out of it? The democrats are hurting themselves and there is no reason for republican to jump in on the bandwagon. I personally think we all should use good manners, in public and at home. Isn't it impolite to interrupt? What have our momma's taught us. We are all so busy trying to get our own point across that we have become a less civil and knowledgeable society. We learn from others and in order to learn, we need to listen. This is not rocket science people...

    January 21, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. ctinsd

    Way to go Arlen! I've heard Michele in other interviews and she will not let you speak, she reeks of Arrogance and comes across very elitist!! Typical republican ... only they're views count. I am sick of republicans... we Democrats must focus on the American agenda and remember why we elected you in the first place! Michele dont you have some interview on FOX or something....I guarantee you will NOT be contradicted there....since the network is owned by Republicans!!

    January 21, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. Will - Minneapolis

    Bachmann is a lady but an unintelligent, hypocritical, and evil one at that.

    Anyone that believes god talks directly to her THROUGH her husband is missing a few screws.

    January 21, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. arch

    This is not the first time Specter has said something like this. He has a bad habit of talking down to people who are not as old as he. I remember awhile back that he said to some woman something like, now listen little lady.... What gives him the right to make a comment like that or like the one he just made! If anybody should listen it should be him. He thinks he is the best thing to come to the people since the invention of the light bulb! What a freak. What a turncoat. What a waste. Please little boy Arlen, please retire and leave all of us in peace.

    January 21, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. Ed

    Representative Bachmann is not a lady – she is a politician who should be treated like any other politician – with distrust! Her continuous lack of respect for others opinions which manifests itself in her inability to stop interrupting other who are speaking should be a clue to ever engages with her. She is arrogant, cocky, and lacks respect for anyone who disagrees with her view of the world and should be treated with exactly the same disrespect and contempt she shows others.

    January 21, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. Patrick

    I've never cared for Arlen Spector. I think it is time for him to retire personally. But really, how is it belittling someone when you tell them to behave respectfully. If he is not to refer to her as a "Lady", what should she be called. Gender specific terms in themselves are not sexist, they are accurate descriptions in our language. Being politically correct to an extreme is stupid. Next I won't be able to call my wife "Honey" because it "belittles her". Grow up America – it's like listening to children on a playground.

    January 21, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. Colleen

    she's no lady...Bimbo comes to mind...

    January 21, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. j

    Don't think Bachmann has enough sense to act like anything but a moron.

    January 21, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Nallek

    Michele is from my home state of Minnesota. I wish she would just go away. I cannot count how many time she has caused us embarassment. She does not think before she speaks and ends up looking like an idiot. Michele, you have a boat-load of kids at home, I'm sure they would like more than a photo to say good-night to.

    January 21, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. American Me

    Why would women be upset about this comment? He didn't say anything disparaging about women or being a lady. As a matter of fact, he used the term "lady" as a goal. A status to stive for and hopefully attain. His statement was a request for civility and class. I believe most women would say to act like a lady is a good thing.

    January 21, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. LINDA

    Mr. Specter is right. Interrupting someone when they are speaking is incredibly rude. Apparently Ms. Bachmann is no lady. Looking like a lady and acting like one are two different things. Also, asking someone to act like a lady is not belittling them.

    January 21, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. Karen

    But of course, amid charges of sexism NRSC spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson Marchand felt that Arlen Specter was not a gentleman because he repeatedly asked Bachmann to PLEASE not interrupt him. Gosh, I guess we should all just turn over the mics to the idiotic comments from the rude right wing!

    January 21, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  16. Colleen

    if she wants to act like a rude idiot...I see no reason to be courteous...Arlen, you ARE a gentleman...she acts more like a screeching, ignorant hog...

    January 21, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. larry carter

    I cheered Scott Browns victory too and hope that Spector wins the primary and loses to a republican candidate but that does not excuse the bad behavior of Rep Bachman... I am from SC and a firm republican but condemed the "you lie' outburst from our state representative also ..Give everyone their uninterupted time to state their opinion and the listeners win by getting to hear both sides and not just the one with the biggest mouth..

    January 21, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. J

    And if she had said "Act like a Gentleman" we wouldn't be screaming sexism now would we? I love this country's double standards.

    January 21, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  19. paul

    too bad he's a democrat now and because of that couldn't possibly be sexist.... If he was still a republican he would have already been called on to resign.

    January 21, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. Mitch

    Perhaps the RNC should pay attention to the fact that Bachman is a JOKE. She's not professional, she's delusional and trying to seize on a movement of America's Most Ignorant.

    January 21, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. Joshua College Station Texas

    Specter is old, out of touch, disloyal to constituents but rather very loyal to politics. Bachmann was rude, disrespectful and seems to have very strange opinions that aren't supported by evidence but that are provocative (i.e., she makes stuff up a lot, kind of like Palin). Both are trouble. Vote them both out!

    January 21, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  22. CB25

    Bachmann's is a shame and should be kicked out of Congress. Her unprofessionalism, ill-spirited ideology and nasty demeanor towards those "on the left" is sickening. Congressmen are expected to act like GENTLEMEN. Congresswomen should be expected to do the same... It's a two-way street Bachmann!

    January 21, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  23. Stewart

    Good for him. I don't think it was sexist at all. She was acting out of line, and he called her on it. That's not sexist.

    January 21, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  24. greyfox

    Problem is, Ms. Bachmann, like the interruption of Obama some months ago, is symptomatic of the complete loss of civility, and the complete disinterest in it from the right wing of the GOP, which is to say, 97% of same. Criticizing Mr. Specter for objecting to her tactics is ridiculous....he was being treated in an unprofessional and crude manner, and it still took several responses for him to ask her to 'behave', and even then it was mild. Ms. Bachmann hasn't exactly been the poster girl for correctness for some time. Perhaps she might wish to think about the shoe on the other foot.

    January 21, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  25. Lucky B

    Bachmann is no lady. It is sad that she seems to be what the GOP considers sane.

    January 21, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
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