Scott Brown: Reid called me four times in 12 mins before extenders vote

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) four times in 12 minutes before a vote Thursday on a package to extend unemployment benefits.

Brown, a Republican from a blue state who's been heavily courted as a swing vote on key issues, said Reid and a slew of governors had been calling him constantly to urge him to support the extenders package.

"Gov. Schwarzenegger, Gov. Rendell, Gov. Patrick — I had governors from across the country calling me, really, pretty relentlessly," Brown said Friday on WEEI radio. "Harry Reid called me, God, four times within 12 minutes of the vote yesterday."

Democrats came up short with Brown and the overall effort to pass the extenders package, voting 57-41 on Thursday evening to move forward, three votes short of the 60 necessary to proceed with legislation.

Brown described the intense pressure he's been facing on the extenders bill and other key pieces of legislation since being elected in January to fill the seat left vacant by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).

"So, last night I got off the plane and driving through Wrentham and saying, 'Man, I just can't believe I'm a United States Senator,' Brown said. "And then Tim Geithner calls me and says, 'Scott, I just wanted to go through what we're working on right now because we're wrapping this thing up.' He just called me a minute ago, too."

Brown sided with Democrats to support the Wall Street reform bill and some other previous extensions of unemployment benefits. But he's stuck with Republicans this time around in demanding that the spending in latest bill be offset with cuts elsewhere in the budget.

Groups have gone after Brown in Massachusetts, where he'll almost certainly face a tough reelection challenge in 2012.

"The negative comments are brutal, honestly," he said. "But the bottom line is I was sent down there to find solutions and move them along in a different path and that path is, just pay for the things we're doing."