Whoopi Goldberg, Meghan McCain Argue over Boston Bomber Voting Rights

Jaimie-lee Prince
Apr 25, 2019
02:50 P.M.
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Whoopie Goldberg and Meghan McCain had a heated debate on Tuesday following some controversial words from Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders the night before. 


On Monday, Sanders was asked the question about whether or not felons should be allowed to vote, to which he responded that "the right to vote is inherent to our democracy" even if it's for "terrible people." 

Sanders further explained that "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."

Co-hosts Joy Behar and Abby Huntsman immediately pointed out that what was said would not look good, realizing it would probably go in a campaign ad against the 77-year-old in the future. The clip is found below.


McCain, on the other hand, didn't stop there. Before getting into it, she admitted that people who committed low-level crimes, "like Alice Marie Johnson," who gets out of prison should be able to vote. 

However, as it pertains to the example of the Boston Marathon Terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whom Sanders also said should vote, McCain vehemently disapproved. 

She said: 

"For Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris to go on TV and say that the Boston terrorist deserves any rights in this country after killing three people and injuring 264 in 2013, I think is disgraceful."


She also expressed her views on Twitter. 


Sunny Hoston said Sanders' stance may be inappropriate but noted that Kamala Harris said that it's a "conversation" that should be had. McCain felt that that take was too soft, saying, "That's not good enough for me, Kamala, that's not good enough for me." 

Clearly riled up, she further explained: 

"It is not hard to say people who commit acts of terror in this country should be punished, but god forbid they should have any rights that any of us have. It is not hard to put lines between terrorists and people who commit low-level crimes. It's not hard to say the Boston terrorist is a psycho lunatic who is a threat not only to national security, but shouldn't be allowed the right to vote in any elections. It's not that hard."


Goldberg then flipped the topic to focus on criminals who had served their time and got let out. As it stands, 14 states allow such people to vote upon their release from prison. Goldberg seemed to be in agreement with that, which prompted McCain to let out a loud gasp. 


She was incredulous as she said, "Whoopi, he killed people, he's a radicalized terrorist." Yet Goldberg stated the law which goes as per the constitution that, "if you've done your time, you have, we hope, been reformed, you've been changed." 

They then exchanged words until coming to the agreement that the Boston Marathon bomber should indeed never be let out, but McCain didn't let up. 

She asked: 

"Does anyone at this table think that anyone who's committed an act of terror that killed three Americans and injured 264 should have the right to vote?"


Goldberg told her those who "two different conversations" and that the question wasn't correct. She reiterated that prison is about "reform." If someone came out they should be "fixed" and "rehabilitated." 

McCain's focus returned to how a terrorist should not be let out. Goldberg agreed. McCain also addressed questions from Hoston saying that her brothers didn't get deployed to come back and see certain people gain voting rights. 

Finally, she concluded by repeating that terrorists should not be able to vote and Kamala Harris and Sanders should call them "true monsters" who can never vote since "they killed Americans." At that point, Goldberg struggled to go to the commercials.


Back in February, another political argument saw Behar shutting down McCain when they spoke about Senator Amy Klobuchar and President Donald Trump. 

McCain really wanted to get her point across, even as Behar was trying to give hers. "Can I say something now, Is that OK, Joy?" she asked. When she wasn't satisfied she told Behar to "by all means, keep going." 

Behar wasn't defeated, telling McCain that if she were "going to have a hissy fit, we can't continue." McCain was quiet after that. Yet the show always goes on for the group of women despite their regular qualms. At the end of the day, they know how to leave it at the table.