During an extended sit-down interview with Diana Williams that aired yesterday, Rep. Charlie Rangel said speculation that he’s running for another term with an eye toward retirement halfway through and hand-picking his successor is “flattering.”

The veteran Harlem pol insisted “anyone that knows me – which includes reporters – would know that I would not know how to do something immoral,” adding (at about the eight-minute mark):

“People who say this, in a sense it’s flattering, because there’s nothing else that they can create as to why I shouldn’t be running and winning except: I don’t think that as good as he is that he’s going to really share that time with us for two years.”

“And the truth of the matter is that if I have integrity, and that hasn’t been challenged, if I was to do something that immoral, where would I go? Nicaragua? Would I go to Europe? I mean, this is integrity that’s on the line. So, when they challenge it with no reason to do it, it’s so you would raise the question.”

“And I guess, in a sense, I’m glad you raised it…It would be in shame and disgrace that I would do that to people. And I wouldn’t do it. So, how many different ways do you say that’s not so? And there’s absoltuely no evidence from anybody.”

When Williams pressed Rangel, asking if he’s promising and guaranteeing to serve out the full term if he’s re-elected, Rangel replied:

“There is no question. If there’s anything within my power physically, and I have no reason to believe that there’s anything that would deter that, I am anxious to complete the work that I think the Obama administration has to do. And the opportunity to just let this go by, I think, would be unfair to my constituents.”