Rachel Maddow Clashes With Alex Castellanos Over Women And The Economy On 'Meet The Press' (VIDEO)

Rachel Maddow severely clashed with Republican strategist Alex Castellanos on Sunday's "Meet The Press."

Host David Gregory asked the panel to discuss how GOP candidate Mitt Romney can court female voters, whom Gregory referred to as "the real deciders of the race."

Maddow said that if Romney would like to talk about women and the economy, he should root his arguments in policy. "Our best debates happen when we're talking about policy," she said.

Maddow started to argue that women make less money than men, but Castellanos interrupted her. "Women don't make less than men?" she pressed. "Actually, if you start looking at the numbers, Rachel, there are lots of reasons for that," Castellanos said.

"Don't tell me the reasons part - do women make less than men?" Maddow fired back. "Men work an average of 44 hours per week. Women work an average of 41 hours per week. Men go into professions like engineering, science, and math, that earn more. Women want more flexibility," Castellanos argued.

"This is not a 'math is hard' conversation," Maddow charged. "Yes, it is actually," Castellanos pressed.

"Right now women are making 77 cents on every dollar that men are making," Maddow said, attempting to frame her argument again. "But that's not true. If so, every greedy business man in America would only hire women, save 25 percent and be hugely profitable," Castellanos said.

Maddow paused and called out Castellanos for continuously interrupting her. "It's weird that you're interrupting me and not letting me make my point, because we get along so well, so let me make my point," she said. "But the interruption is important, I think, because now we know, at least from both of your perspective, that women are not faring worse than men in the economy, that women are not getting paid less for equal work. I think that's a serious difference in factual understanding in the world, but given that, some of us believe that women are being paid less than men."

After Maddow framed her argument, Castellanos responded, "I love how passionate you are. I wish you were as right about what you're saying as you are passionate about it. I really do."

"That's really condescending," Maddow said. "This is a stylistic issue. My passion on this issue is actually me making a factual argument."

Rachel Maddow