Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) changed her tune about letting convicted terrorists vote less than 24 hours after being asked the question during a CNN town hall on Monday night.
CNN’s Don Lemon asked Harris if she supported comments made earlier in the night by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who said that convicted terrorists, including the Boston Marathon bomber, should be allowed to vote in U.S. elections while in prison.
“Another issue that I want to talk to you about — this is really important — I’m not sure if you were watching earlier, but Senator Bernie Sanders said that he is in favor of felons being able to vote while serving in prison,” Lemon said. “He was asked specifically about people like the Boston Marathon bomber, also people who are convicted of sexual assault. And he said, this is a quote, ‘The right to vote is inherent to our democracy, yes, even for terrible people.’ Do you agree with that, Senator?”
“I agree that the right to vote is one of the very important components of citizenship and it is something that people should not be stripped of needlessly, which is why I have been long an advocate of making sure that the formally incarcerated are not denied a right to vote, which is the case in so many states in our country, in some states permanently deprived of the right to vote,” Harris responded.
“But people who are in — convicted, in prison, like the Boston Marathon bomber, on death row, people who are convicted of sexual assault, they should be able to vote?” Lemon pressed.
“I think we should have that conversation,” Harris responded.
Less than 24 hours later, Harris appeared to have changed her tune, telling a group of reporters: “Do I think that people who commit murder, people who are terrorists should be deprived of their rights? Yeah, I do.”
This is not the first time that Harris has completely changed her stance on an issue following a CNN town hall event.
In January, while talking about the health care system, Harris said: “I believe the solution — and I actually feel very strongly about this — is that we need to have Medicare for all. That’s just the bottom line.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper pressed Harris on her statement, noting that she would be eliminating private health insurance: “So for people out there who like their insurance, they don’t get to keep it?”
“Let’s eliminate all of that,” Harris responded. “Let’s move on.”
Harris’ remarks caused immediate backlash and by the next day, her campaign was walking back her comments. CNN reported:
As the furor grew, a Harris adviser on Tuesday signaled that the candidate would also be open to the more moderate health reform plans, which would preserve the industry, being floated by other congressional Democrats. It represents a compromise position that risks angering “Medicare-for-all” proponents, who view eliminating private health insurance as key to enacting their comprehensive reform.
“Medicare-for-all is the plan that she believes will solve the problem and get all Americans covered. Period,” Harris national press secretary Ian Sams told CNN. “She has co-sponsored other pieces of legislation that she sees as a path to getting us there, but this is the plan she is running on.”