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In explaining a controversial decision to allow former felons to vote, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe compared himself to Abraham Lincoln and said the state has "had some very horrible disenfranchisement of voters."

"I stood not 20 yards from where Abraham Lincoln met the freed slaves 151 years ago in April," he told George Stephanopoulos on This Week. "It was the right thing to do legally, and most importantly...it wasn’t politics. It was the right thing to do morally.”

He also told his GOP critics to "quit complaining and go out and earn these folks' right to vote for you."

"They have an opportunity to go out and get these individual new voters to vote for them," he said.

Reacting on "The Five," Dana Perino said that she didn't think McAuliffe would have gotten the same blowback if he had involved the state's legislature and not included violent offenders.

Kimberly Guilfoyle also weighed in, saying that people who choose to commit violent crimes have forfeited their right to vote.

"If you want to vote, do not go out and commit violent crimes against people in the community," she said. "It's really that simple. The ability to vote should be really sacrosanct, something that people respect, that they value, that they don't toss away to commit some crime."

Juan Williams said the policy was put in place back in 1902 to disenfranchise black voters.

Guilfoyle responded: "Well, that's what he's saying and that's what you're saying, but these are the laws on the books and if it was such a good idea and so noble and valiant in its intention, why did he circumvent the legislature?"

Williams said that it wouldn't be in the Republican-controlled legislature's political interest to enfranchise people who are more likely to vote Democrat.

What do you think?


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