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. Tom Moore

    i was a long time supporter of arlen, even after his recent betrayals to the republican party but i'm beginning to see (albeit too late) that he is interested in nothing but his own career and motivations.

    January 21, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  2. Max

    Finally Bachmann is taught a lesson. She is everything that moderate Republicans hate about the party, and I can't believe she was re-elected.

    January 21, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  3. Craig

    Senator Specter made a poor choice of words while making a legitimate point. America is tired of politics-as-usual, and that includes the loss of legitimate debate as it is replaced with Bill O'Reilly shout down politics. The fact that somebody can speak more loudly or interrupt more often does not mean they have a better argument. It just means they are better at being rude.

    Representative Bachmann refused to share in a respectful debate on the issues, preferring instead to repeatedly interrupt her colleague. Specter chose point out her behavior and in doing so supposedly "belittled" her. Maybe the term "ladylike" isn't adequately PC, but neither was her behavior. What Specter should have asked her to do was to treat him with the same respect he was showing her by not interrupting her when she spoke.

    January 21, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  4. Andrew

    Belittling his female colleagues? 'He' is the one that needs to act like a gentleman? Maybe instead of centering on the act like a lady insult, you should look at the whole incident, and try to realize why he said that to her. Couldn't possibly be because she CONTINUED to intterupt Mr.Specter, even after he asked her to "act like a lady", meaning that she should act like a reasonable and half decent human being, instead of continuing to interrupt Mr.Specter and not let him speak. Interrupting him like that is EXTREMELY disrespectful. To do it not only once, but repeatedly, even after being confronted about it. And you have the balls to act like she didn't do anything wrong? Sounds like you're picking on the victim here.

    January 21, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  5. dustin

    So in criticizing the lady comment, amber marchand told specter to act line a gentleman, which is the exact masculine form of lady. Always such false outrage and hypocrisy.

    January 21, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  6. dimes1

    Specter is typical of the arrogance of the Democrats.

    They are all about talking down to the people, closed door negotiations, rewarding special interests and bribes to get votes.

    It won’t be long till politicians like Specter are voted out as evidenced by the election of Brown.

    January 21, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. Ali

    Good for him. She doesn't act like a lady – or any kind of civilized human being... maybe a rabid dog....

    January 21, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. Ray

    It's a sad fact that civility is dead in our world.

    January 21, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  9. Corey

    Is the NRSC spokesperson trying to say Arlen Specter was being rude? No, she couldn't possibly be suggesting such a thing. Has she ever listened to Michele Bachmann speak? Ever? Seriously? I'm not sure anyone can come off as rude when compared to Rep. Bachmann.

    January 21, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  10. Ha!!!

    That's right woman! Get in the kitchen and fix my supper!!

    January 21, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  11. JB

    It would certainly have been inappropriate to tell her to act like a gentleman. What's the big deal?

    January 21, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  12. Byron

    Specter acted like an old guy who really does not know the diference between a lady, and a dumb lady. Bachman is allowed to interrupt and say stupid things because she is a dumb lady. Specter just needs to get up to speed with the new generation. Suggestion to Sen. Specter: Watch MTV's Jersey Shore.

    January 21, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  13. WJ

    You go girl! Don't let these desperate old hyper-dems throw you around.
    Smart, beautiful & female is too much for their egos to stand!
    Go Michelle Go!
    PS: Thank you Massachusetts for saying & doing what we're all feeling!

    January 21, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  14. Dan

    What, are you kidding me? Nobody would care if someone was told to "act like a man."

    January 21, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  15. texasgreenacres

    With all due respect. Constant interrupting as another speaks is not only not (lady like) or (gentleman like) it's arrogant, selfish, self centered, and plain bad manner's and cast a bad reflection on a person up bringing. So I may not agree with all of what Specter has to say.. I do agree with his actions on this

    January 21, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  16. Lynn

    The Republican's often seem to have a problem with motor mouths. If they verbalize the loudest and longest they assume people will buy their hot air.

    January 21, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  17. Mike S. New Orleans

    Big deal. He could have chosen better words, but the right wing neocon nutjob blowhards seem to think they can talk over anyone and not be held accountable for it. Good for Specter.

    January 21, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  18. Teresa L

    I don't think she can act like a lady, because I don't think she' human! She's a joke, and in mu opinion she gives women a bad name!

    January 21, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  19. John Crawford

    Is this the way America is going .. civility out of the window. It appears that we are seeing "shouting itteruptions" more and more these days and it seems to come more often from the Republicans, but then again the Democrats are not blameless.

    Debate is speak/listen/answer not speak/speak/speak but that is all we hear. I for one am so fed up with politicians that I just tune them out.

    Both Democrats and Republicans need to start listening, your both loosing as the American People are getting truly fed up with your whining and always blame the other guys.

    Do what you were vote into power to do ... represent the people of your district/state. Its not companies/unions that vote you into power, it is individual people. So remember that at the next election, because you may get a shock.

    A lot of people are at the point of vote for "anyone but ******"

    January 21, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  20. marc in california

    Arlen Specter. Shut up, shut up, shut UP!

    January 21, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  21. joe

    that lady is NUTS! right on specter.

    January 21, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  22. mario ca

    Finally someone tell her the truth

    January 21, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  23. Minnesota gal

    Lady...that word would never describe this piece of crap. There is not one republican going who lets the other person talk the constantly interrupt. Why ..because they know the other person is telling the truth and the republican is such a putz they couldn't let that happen.

    January 21, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  24. Robert

    nothing sexist about it. if it were a man pulling this stunt like bachmann did, specter would have told him to act like a gentleman. she was being rude.

    January 21, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  25. Dan

    Ok so how is "act like a lady" belittling, but act like a gentleman isn't?

    Repubs. Two faces for the price of one!

    January 21, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
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