Specter To Andrea Mitchell: Sestak More Vigorous Than Me? What Are You Smoking? (VIDEO)

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), who’s facing a tough Democratic Senate primary race in Pennsylvania today against Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), vigorously defended his, er, vigor during an interview this afternoon on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell.

“When you talk about Sestak being more vigorous, you must be smoking dutch cleanser,” Specter told Mitchell.He then recounted the tale from last summer of a Tea Partier who “rushed up at me with his fist clenched.”

I fought him right there on the spot, verbally. Beat him. When you talk about vigor, it’s on Arlen Specter’s side.

The TPM Poll Average for today’s Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania shows Sestak leading Specter 45.6% to 42.6%.

And what about Sestak’s comment that, politically, Specter is a “dead man walking”? Was that a low blow?

“At the ankles,” Specter said.

Specter kept emphasizing his energy and fight throughout the interview, and warned that if he loses, the Tea Party will take us back to “18th-century America.”

What you see happening across the country is that the Tea Party organization has taken over. If we’re not careful, if you don’t field the strongest candidate, frankly like Arlen Specter, they’re gonna take over. They wanna eliminate EPA. They wanna go back to the gold standard, be an 18th century America.

And what about President Barack Obama, who hasn’t come to campaign by Specter’s side in the campaign’s critical last days?

“He’s on every few minutes, on all the TV stations,” Specter said, referencing a commercial featuring Obama with Specter. “You can’t live on the planet Earth and not see Barack Obama for Arlen Specter.”