Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at an event in Cambridge Tuesday afternoon. (James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders was in Massachusetts Tuesday looking for support—just a day after making controversial comments regarding the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
At a CNN Town Hall Monday night, Sen. Sanders was asked by a student whether his belief that those with felony records should be allowed to vote meant that people like convicted terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev would be included.
"I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy," Sanders told that student. "Yes, even for terrible people."
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, reacting to those comments Tuesday, does not agree.
"When you get incarcerated for taking somebody's life and you go to prison, you lose your right to vote," Walsh told WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal. "I think that people that get out of prison, we should have conversations about that long-term, but I think when somebody takes somebody's life, they lose the right to vote."
Impeachment, Felons Voting Divides Democrats At CNN Forum
Sanders chose a much smaller venue to speak to about 100 supporters Tuesday at Cambridge's Club Passim.
He discussed a number of subjects including prison reform, rent control, marijuana, and climate change, which he called "an existential crisis."
"We are the 99 percent, and the 99 percent will prevail over the one percent," he told the crowd.
Those who spoke with WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas were more open to his ideas on restoring voting rights for prisoners, and didn't think his comments were that controversial.
"He realizes that the slippery slope of voting discrimination and the history of that is just going to continue if we don't put our foot down and say every American has the right to a vote," one man said, adding that it didn't shake him, but he "could see how it would, for some people."
"The way I interpret it is more like, people with misdemeanors, marijuana/cannabis, those sort of crimes, should be able to vote," said another supporter.
"I had to take a step back and think about it, right?" said another man. "But we have to protect the American right to vote."
Sanders did not take any questions from the media, leaving immediately following the event.
WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports