Sen. Brown headlines fundraiser for Kirk; expects centrists will 'make some changes'

Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) headlined two fundraisers for the Senate campaign of Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) Thursday. The events were expected to haul in some $200,000 for Kirk's campaign against Democrat Alexi Giannoulias.    

Brown, who won a special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), has angered some national Republicans by breaking with the party on some votes, including financial reform.

But on Thursday, Brown suggested Kirk was cut from the same fiscal conservative, social moderate mold. 

“There are a group of about 20 of us who are fiscal conservatives and social moderates, on both sides of the aisle — Democrats and Republicans," Brown said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "We’re making a nice little bond so we can make some changes next session.”

The suggestion came fresh off criticism from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R). On Wednesday, Palin suggested Brown's Senate voting record isn't conservative enough, but that she expected Massachusetts to "put up with Scott Brown and the antics there."   

Brown hasn't responded directly to Palin's broadside, but a spokesman made it clear Brown isn't worried about the former governor's critique of his voting record.

"Senator Brown's votes are based on what's in the best interests of Massachusetts and he has made his priorities job creation, controlling spending and reducing the deficit. All Republicans can agree on that," said Brown spokesman Colin Reed.  

Meanwhile, Massachusetts Republicans defended Brown from Palin's critique Thursday. State GOP Chair Jennifer Nassour told the Boston Globe that "Brown is the most popular political figure in the state for a reason — he’s an independent voice for our state and we stand by our Republican US senator from Massachusetts."