Bernie Sanders may be on top of the democratic heap at the moment, but the 2020 frontrunner just dropped a bombshell that even his fellow liberals are trepidatious about.
The democratic socialist from Vermont was speaking in New Hampshire last night during a CNN town hall event when he was asked about voting rights, particularly for felons.
In keeping with the democratic position, Sanders was fully in support of rehabilitated felons having their voting rights restored as they reenter society, but the Vermont Senator went even a step further.
He was pressed on whether it was appropriate to enfranchise sex offenders or someone convicted of a heinous crime like Tsarnaev, who with his brother carried out the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that left three dead and injured hundreds more.
“Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not going to let that person vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope,” Sanders said in response to a question about restoring felons’ voting rights.
Host Chris Cuomo was responsible for the Boston Bomber example in a rare moment of pushback against Bernie by the CNN host.
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Later in the evening, fellow democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg articulated his opposing stance.
Buttigieg didn’t hesitate when asked whether felons should be allowed to vote white serving their sentences.
“No,” he said. “I do believe that when you are, when you have served your sentence, then part of being restored to society is that you are part of the political life of this nation again and one of the things that needs to be restored is your right to vote.”
Given the shocking nature of Sanders’ statement, there is little doubt that this issue will soon become a lightning rod of controversy among the already crowded and confusing democratic field for 2020.
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