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. Don in Grand Rapids, Mi

    Arlen Specter is a lackie for Odumwa. He will also be one Senator sent to the unemployment ranks in November.

    January 21, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  2. Dale

    Retire specter or suffer the loss. You a piece of work. The people are learning that all current government politicians are corrupt. You guys are horrible and we want new blood on both sides of the isle.

    We want our jobs back from China and other countries. We want politicians that work for us, we want to work for a living not live off the government. GO AWAY

    January 21, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  3. Shannon

    She is a complete loon, and I don't think is sexism to ask someone to be polite....

    January 21, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. adorkablyangie

    That's like asking a chicken to behave like a dog. I feel you, Specter...anyone would lose their patience around a half-wit like Bachmann.

    January 21, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    She really should be letting Specter finish his comments and *not* interrupt. I don't think saying "act like a lady" is any different than him telling a male to "act like a gentlemen". I doubt it was truly a 'sexist' statement, rather, it was said to tell her to 'be polite'. Ladies, stop being so OVER-sensative.

    What is everyone supposed to do – pretend there is only one gender?!

    January 21, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  6. RT

    Question: What do you have when Michelle Bachman is debating Sarah Palin? Answer: A batlle of wits between unarmed opponents. This is another ding-bat that needs to find another line of work. She is an embarrassment. Linking swine flu to the democrats, accusing the census bureau of conspiracy against GOP districts, claiming there will be a rationing board for health care in the stimulus bill, the "We're running out of rich people in this country" quote. Egads – what could possibly be next out of this "lady's" mouth? Of course, constant interruptions when someone else is talking.

    January 21, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  7. JR

    "Act like a lady", are you kidding, the squzz doesn't know what that means nor most other simple words of the English language.

    January 21, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. DJ

    Repubs are rude. We saw this last year when Democrats were trying to talk on CNN. It is not honorable.

    January 21, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. cecilia Lewis

    Don't worry Sen. Spector – you have always been a gentleman, but you can't ask Bachmann to be somthing she is not.
    She is a mean spirited, misinformed, loud mouth woman with no understanding of the serious problems facing America.

    January 21, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. anonymous

    did this really just make the news get over it you will be an interriupter and you will be interupted some day

    January 21, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  11. Four and The Door

    You need to give Specter a break on this one. The news the Democrats got yesterday from Massachusetts must have rocked their little world. He has not recovered from it yet and it will take a while. They will be a bit edgey until they get out of the denial stage and realize this really did happen.

    January 21, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  12. La Chatte

    Wouldn't it have been more appropriate if Specter had told her to act like a human?

    January 21, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  13. Angi's mom

    Alright, boys and girls, please settle this on the playground.

    January 21, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  14. Rex

    Let Specter have his fun. His days as an elected official are numbered, just like most other democrats.

    January 21, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. vancouveral

    This is another example of how far politics in the US has abandoned civility. We know that politics is a survival sport and you have to have supreme confidence in abilities that you don`t possess, but constantly interupting another guest suggests that Michele Bachmann never learned how to behave in kindergarten. The divide between Democrats and Republicans is now so deep that only an enema will cure congress of it`s illness.

    January 21, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. Chandler

    Specter was completely in the right. No one would say that it was sexist for them to suggest he act like a "gentleman"...even though it is a noun that references gender. "Lady" is not an offensive term. She interrupted him multiple times and the fact that she would try to turn this around on him instead of apologizing just confirms that she has no integrity.

    January 21, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. Angry Vet

    Specter was following common courtesy in discussions and the GOP stomped on his attempt to discuss in a rational fashion his position. This is a sad commentary on debate in today's sociiety. Why do I care, I certainly don't watch because I can tell before hand the outcome.

    January 21, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. OldUncleTom

    Interrupting another person while they are speaking is the epitome of rudeness.

    Two messages are sent:

    1) I wasn't listening to you
    2) I consider my words more important than yours

    Perhaps some find this kind of discourse entertaining in the media, but it is getting tiresome. It is particularly annoying when the host interrupts the guests. Rare is the host who has a more informed point-of-view than those who are invited to speak.

    January 21, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  19. elanor

    Beig a liberal Democrat, I am upset at Spector being such a sexist, egotistical pig. He just wants to ruin my party.

    January 21, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. Gary Jaussaud

    Gary's Comment is:

    That is just the problem in Washington these days. Alot of the people
    that hold those high offices act like spoiled school children with no
    manners what so ever, or respect for the job they hold. I am not sure
    where the American voter stands or has a chance to be understood.

    January 21, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. Tom

    If she's a "lady" I'm the Pope!! She resembles noone so much as the Bea Arthur character "Maude"!!

    January 21, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  22. Ray - Jackson, MS

    She's a republican. They all act christ like don't you know?

    January 21, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. James

    This is another stupid story of how republicans twist words and use small instances to manipulate the people. All the Specter was asking for was a little respect and decency in a professional interview and now he will be scolded for asking for professionalism.

    January 21, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  24. Albert K. L.A., CA

    It's an old political ploy, if you can't impress them with facts or knowledge, then stop the other side from doing so with razzle-dazzle, interruptions and other bull. Bachman is full of razzle-dazzle.

    January 21, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. MA Doesn't Speak For Me

    Look, those against Obama's administration are going to look for any angle in an attempt to bring discredit. That's what they do. They are not interested in working together to bring solutions to problems that plague this and past adminstration's for the last 30 years, they are only interested in being an obstacle to progress. I for one, will not allow anyone to speak on my behalf and certainly not the good citizens of MA. Their election is their election, it has no national implications beyond what it's done to the balance of power in the Senate. Keep trying though, maybe one day you'll get it right.

    January 21, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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