Axelrod: We’re talking about the economy. These foreign-money attacks are totally about the economy.

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Getting snippy with host Candy Crowley Sunday on “State of the Union,” David Axelrod bristled at the idea that Democrats are talking about foreign money to distract from the state of the economy and the jobs picture. The notion that outside groups are allowing foreign interests to interfere in American elections has been ctions has been roundly rejected by third-party fact-checkers and media.

He offered as explanation that attacking outside groups and their donors amounts to talking about the economy:

CROWLEY: So you can understand why at this point Republicans are going, you know, they are losing this perfectly legal battle to go on the air and this is sour grapes. That you all are using this as a way to stoke your base, and say, oh my goodness, the big insurance companies are coming, the big businesses are coming. And it’s because you don’t want to talk about the economy, you don’t want to talk about TARP. You don’t want to talk about…

AXELROD: Candy, let me tell you something, this is about the economy because if an interest group can give millions of dollars to Karl Rove secretly and he can run ads — negative ads against Democratic candidates across the country under the American Crossroads Fund rubric or The Committee for Truth in Politics or these others, they’re going to have tremendous influence over the future.