Begich, who's likely to face a tough reelection battle next year, later argued that Alaskans don't often fall into the traditional Republican or Democratic political spectrum.
"Alaska is a very unique place," he said. "For us to say we're a Democrat or a Republican — what Alaskans like to just say is 'We're Alaskan; here are our views.' We have a libertarian streak on some of the issues."
Rockefeller Republicanism is a somewhat outdated term for the center-left Republicans in the mold of former Sen. Nelson Rockefeller (R-N.Y.). Few modern Republicans self-identify themselves in Rockefeller's mold.
The senator also pushed back against New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), who has begun spending against Democrats who voted against gun legislation. Bloomberg has yet to target Begich with ads.
"One thing we don't like is outsiders coming in and try to tell us what to do," Begich said.