Bernie Sanders favors felons' right to vote

"The View" co-hosts weigh in after the senator said "every single person does have the right to vote" during a town hall.
9:07 | 04/23/19

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Transcript for Bernie Sanders favors felons' right to vote
So apparently last night Democrats invaded New Hampshire when five candidates held town halls to make their case about why they should be your next president and the most controversial moment came apparently from Bernie Sanders. Oh, take a look. If somebody commits a serious crime, sexual assault, murder, they're going to be punished. They may be in jail for ten years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That's what happens when you commit a serious crime. But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people. You're writing an opposition ad against you by saying you think the Boston marathon bomber should vote not after he pays his debt to society but while he's in jail. You sure about that? I do believe that. Look, this is what I believe. So is he taking voting rights a bit far there or is there merit in this conversation? The thing about it is if you -- if you're going to go picking and choosing who should get to vote while you're in jail, I don't see that's a practical thing to do. You did this, no, you didn't do that so you get to vote. Either you have everybody do it or nobody seems to me. It's not practical. His position is that even though -- you heard what he said. Even though you are serving your time and you're being punished, that does not take away your right to vote but, you know, it'll be used in a campaign ad against him because it doesn't sound good. You're right about that. I think it's crazy. I think it sounds crazy to anyone who is thinking about someone that's in prison for committing heinous crimes and when you commit a crime, usually certain rights are taken from you and I'm all for when you get out of prison -- That's what you're in jail for. When you're out of prison I'm all for helping people succeed after that. I'm with Pete buttigieg. I love mayor Pete. The challenge when so many candidates are running when you get Bernie Sanders in there taking such an extreme stand they all have to answer that question. Kamala Harris clearly didn't know where she stood yet on it. Buttigieg said I feel like people have served their time and then have a right to vote but I think the idea of voting while you're in prison is a very slippery slope. People are in there for all kinds of things and you commit a crime, you shouldn't be able to It's really a constitutional question because what the constitution says under the 14th amendment is that it's a state issue. It's a state-by-state issue and, in fact, Bernie is probably speaking to his experience because in Vermont, people in prison are allowed to vote and I think a lot of people don't know that. And about 48 states up until 2017 -- And Maine. And Maine. 48 states most people even after they got out of prison were not allowed to vote. Right. Just recently I think it was 2017 or 2018 now 15 states plus D.C. Allow people to have the right to vote. My -- you know, so I don't know that Bernie's position is appropriate. I would agree once you're in prison I don't know that the right to vote is appropriate but my concern is the laws of our country are disproportionately applied to people of color and so there's real disenfranchisement of the African American vote of the Latino vote so you're talking about 6.1 million African-Americans that the vote is taken away from. Currently 1.5 million. That's a different conversation, though, and I think that's a valid one. I will say I got up at 5:30, I couldn't sleep last night and woke up really early and saw this clip and I will say talking about prison reform and talking about low level crimes like Alice Marie Johnson getting out of prison, a woman like that should have the right to vote for all intents and purposes but for Bernie Sanders and kamala Harris to go on TV and say the Boston terrorist deserves any rights in this country after killing three people and injuring 264 in 2013, I think is RNC, turn that into an ad. It's not hard to say they should not only be punished but god forbid they should have any rights any of us had or someone who commits a low-level crime like smoking pot, it is not hard to put lines between terrorists and people who submit low level crimes and I was upset about it because just one second, if Democrats want to drag everybody this far left, this is why people like me are so upset and so disenfranchised with how extreme this is. It's not hard to say the Boston terrorist was a psycho lunatic who is a threat not only to national security but shouldn't be allowed the right to vote in any election. Kamala Harris did not say that. Kamala Harris said -- We should have a conversation about it. I think we need to make it clear. She did not say that. That's not good enough for me. She was a prosecutor in California. This is clearly something that she has -- Something they have discussed. And I feel she's thought about it before. Well, but -- Does anyone think a terrorist should have a right to vote? Here's what I'm going to say, if they let this terrorist out because he served his time, he gets his -- if he's an American citizen as -- why is your mouth open like that. Because, whoopi, he killed people. Yes, lots of people do this. He is a terrorist. But our -- He's a radicalized terrorist. Our constitution says if you've done your time. Yeah. You have, we hope, been reformed, you've been changed. If they let him out, that means they feel his time is up and he gets to become the American citizen. He should never be let out. You asked me about -- he's probably never going to get out -- Does anybody at this table think anyone who committed an act of terror that killed three Americans and -- That's not the way to ask that question. This is two different conversations. It's not to me. I get that but it is to me and let me remind you why. If you've done your time, that's what prison reform is about. If they let this man out, they are saying he has been reformed, we have -- fixed him. Rehabilitated. Rehabilitated. He's met his debt to society. I'm not trying to be disrespectful. That's okay. We're "The view." But we are talking about if he were to be let out. He should never be let out. That's not the conversation -- that's not what you asked. I said low level crimes. I said low level crimes like Alice Marie Johnson. But then you said who here thinks this should happen. 11% rise in -- I mean we talk about the rise in terrorism and violent crimes in this country and idea -- I'm open to women like Alice Marie Johnson who I think we can all agree put into prison for too long. You are talking about terrorists -- How about -- You're missing the point. Hold on. Yes, you're missing the point because you keep saying if they let him out, yes, if they let him out he gets those rights back. I don't agree if this terrorist were let out -- He should not get out. I think he should be given the death penalty. People who commit acts of terror on American soil. Does this include domestic terrorists. Yes, of course. What about those guys that shoot schools up? Yes. I'm trying to tell you, what Bernie Sanders said is going to be turned into a clip that will be -- it upset me this morning. Abby and I -- Abby and I didn't have brothers that served multiple times. I didn't watch him fight this crap -- Now, wait, hold on. Let's be realistic here. The discussion here was if he got out. Yes. That was the discussion. Then I'm against it. Even then. Okay, that's the I can't imagine -- I don't think he would ever get out. That's where -- Talking about terrorists. Get to vote while they're in prison. We're talking about terrorists. Tell me a terrorist who has committed an act that heinous that has been let out of prison. We haven't had that conversation so it's a hypothetical. For me I would appreciate it if Bernie Sanders and kamala Harris said there are true monsters in this world and true monsters are domestic terrorists which these guys were, radicalized here, people like that not only shouldn't get the right to vote but shouldn't have the right to have anything in this country. They killed Americans and they were radicalized. And they won't get out. People in Maine and Vermont

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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