04/02/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Axelrod: Obama's SCOTUS Smack Down Was 'Totally Appropriate' (VIDEO)

The Obama administration is not backing down from the president's criticism of the Supreme Court during the State of the Union address this past week.

Asked on Sunday whether Obama was right to rebuke the justices to their face (with millions watching) over the Court's decision to allow corporations to spend freely on election campaigns, White House senior adviser David Axelrod called the episode "totally appropriate."

From Axelrod's appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press", hosted by David Gregory:

GREGORY: During the State of the Union, there -- there was a moment that got a lot of attention. I want to show it to you here, where the president was critical of the Supreme Court decision about campaign finance reform. And in the audience -- Justice Alito -- had what seemed to be a pretty critical response, as the line was said, he's shaking his head there. And then as it gets closer, looks like he's saying, "That's not true." Was it appropriate for the president to criticize the Supreme Court during the State of the Union? And do you consider Justice Alito's response to be appropriate or inappropriate?

AXELROD: Well, I certainly think it was appropriate for the president to talk about the threat that this decision brings to our democracy. Basically, it's gonna be open season for special interests groups and big corporations to participate in our elections with all their might and all their money.

GREGORY: You still haven't answered whether you think it was an appropriate thing, criticism--

DAVID AXELROD: I think it was totally appropriate


Watch Alito shake his head in response to Obama's comments at the State of the Union: