Boston Marathon First Responder Slams Bernie Sanders’ ‘Ridiculous’ Defense of Bomber’s Voting Rights

By Zachary Stieber

A firefighter and Boston Marathon first responder slammed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) after the Democratic presidential candidate said that all prisoners should be allowed to vote.

Ed Kelly, whose wife Katie was running the marathon when the bombing occurred on April 15, 2013, said that Sanders’ position is “dangerous.”

Kelly supports convicted felons voting after they’ve served their time but doesn’t think people still in prison should have that privilege.

“It’s ridiculous. Society has rules and if you break those rules we have repercussions and one of those repercussions is you lose your rights, and one of them being your right to vote,” he said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” on April 24.

“Why would we ever let a murderer, who murdered children like the Boston Marathon bomber, have a voice in our democracy?” he added.

Sanders in a speech at a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire, on April 22 was asked whether he “would support enfranchising people like the Boston Marathon bomber, a convicted terrorist and murderer.”

“I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘That guy committed a terrible crime, not gonna let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not gonna let that person vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope,” the open socialist responded.

“If somebody commits a serious crime—sexual assault, murder, they’re gonna be punished,” Sanders said. “They may be in jail for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That’s what happens when you commit a serious crime,” he added.

After being asked why he thought Sanders endorsed convicted murderers and rapists voting, Kelly said on Fox that the senator “is an intelligent man.”

Memorials And Sunday Services Held In Honor Of Boston Marathon Bombing Victims
A makeshift memorial for victims is set up near the site of the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombings in Boston, Mass., on April 21, 2013. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
A man looks in Moscow at a computer screen displaying an undated picture the 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev posted on his page on VKontakte, a Russian social media site, on April 19, 2013. (AFP/Getty Images)

“I think he’s been in this game long enough that I don’t think he misspoke. I think he knows exactly how he feels,” he said. “And I think that’s a dangerous platform for the leader of our democracy, a person who wants to be a leader of our democracy, saying that people that attack our democracy deserve a voice, a vote in how we protect ourselves.”

Kelly’s criticism came after Cher, the singer and actress, took to Twitter to rebuke Sanders.

“Does Bernie Sanders Really Believe [People] In Prison Who Are Murderers, Rapists, Child Molesters, BOSTON [Marathon] BOMBERS …STILL DESERVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE,” the 72-year-old singer and actress wrote on Twitter in a since-deleted post on April 23.

President Donald Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. noticed the post and shared it with his followers.

“Crazie Bernie’s ideas are so bad he actually managed to #redpill Cher,” Trump Jr. wrote, referring to how some of the more extreme ideas from the Democrats have prompted some to switch to the Republican party.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was among the Sanders critics, writing on Twitter that Sanders wanted people like the Boston bomber and Dylann Roof, who killed nine people in a church in Charleston in 2015, to be able to vote.

“I look forward to hearing his explanation—in South Carolina—why Dylan [sic] Roof should be allowed to vote in the upcoming elections,” Graham added.