Khanna breaks with Sanders on voting rights for Boston Marathon bomber: 'I wouldn't go that far'

Khanna breaks with Sanders on voting rights for Boston Marathon bomber: 'I wouldn't go that far'
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Impeachment fight shifts to House Judiciary Democrats hit gas on impeachment George Soros, Charles Koch foundations help launch pro-peace think tank MORE (D-Calif.), one of the co-chairs of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocratic strategist: 'Medicare for All' exposes generational gap within party Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Biden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee MORE's (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, broke with the presidential candidate Wednesday on giving voting rights to the Boston Marathon bomber.

“California has a compromise where felony convictions, those who are nonviolent in county jails have the right to vote, but those who have committed violent felonies, like the Boston Marathon, don’t have the right to vote," Khanna said CNN's "New Day." 

“That to me seems like a reasonable way forward, where you’re enfranchising people but not giving someone like the Boston Marathon bomber the right to vote.”

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Host John Berman pressed Khanna on whether he was disagreeing with Sanders, who during a CNN town hall Monday defended Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's right to vote.

“I think that I wouldn’t go that far," Khanna responded. "He should have the right to be treated for cancer if he has cancer, and he should have certain human rights, but I wouldn’t go that far in terms of giving him the right to vote.”

Sanders's comments Monday have drawn some backlash.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegDemocratic strategist: 'Medicare for All' exposes generational gap within party Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Biden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee MORE (D), who is also running for president, made clear in a town hall later that day that he does not believe convicted felons should be able to vote while incarcerated. 

Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonDeval Patrick beefs up campaign staff Lawmakers honor JFK on 56th anniversary of his death Pardoning war crimes dishonors the military MORE (D-Mass.), who announced his 2020 candidacy earlier this week, also pushed back on giving felons voting rights, saying, "You're in prison, that's not a provision that we have."

Khanna on Wednesday defended restoring voting rights for at least some of those who are incarcerated.

“Sen. Sanders is talking about this because mass incarceration is an issue of racial disparity, one of out every three black men are in jail or find themselves convicted of a felony," he explained. "We have a country that has gone from incarcerating 500,000 people to 2.2 million people and this is disenfranchising for many people of color."