Lewisburg, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Tough crowds asking pointed questions is not the only concern Sen. Arlen Specter has as he holds town halls all across his home state of Pennsylvania.
He's also concerned about his personal safety, which is why he brought along some United States Capitol Hill Police officers as he traveled to two town halls on Tuesday.
The sometime raucous events in Lebanon and Lewisburg, which Specter called "civil," were largely full of constituents expressing their anger over the health care plan working its way through Congress.
The Democrat earlier this year switched parties and could face a tough re-election fight next year.
After his town hall event at the campus of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Specter defended his decision to have Congress' special police force travel with him back home.
"I would say, that given the temper of the times, the fact that in some areas there have been fights breaking out and people hospitalized - and one member's statue was hanged in effigy - [safety] is a big challenge," said Specter.
Despite his expressed need for special security, Specter admitted heated confrontation is part of the job.
"It's challenging. I've been part of some challenging situations and that’s part of the pay grade."
Adding that he thought the rhetoric was "within acceptable limits," Specter told reporters that economic and political anxieties have created a "level of anger in the country" that has not been seen since the Great Depression.
Taking tough questions in the face of adversity and security concerns prompted on man in Lewisburg to tell Specter, "I can't believe you run for this office."