Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris says she disagrees with 2020 rival Joe Biden's assertion that the 1994 crime bill he supported did not lead to mass incarceration.
The senator from California said Wednesday during a campaign stop in Nashua, New Hampshire: "That 1994 crime bill, it did contribute to mass incarceration in our country. It encouraged and was the first time that we had a federal three strikes law."
She says, "It funded the building of more prisons in the states. So I disagree, sadly."
Her comments came a day after Biden strongly defended his earlier support as a senator from Delaware for the crime bill.
Biden lays the blame for mass incarcerations not on the crime bill or choices made on the federal level, but on states.
Harris was in New Hampshire on Wednesday to detail her proposal to ban the importation of AR-15-style assault weapons by executive action if elected president.
Harris has previously said she would take executive action on gun violence if Congress failed to pass comprehensive gun safety measures in her first 100 days.
She is seeking near-universal background checks by anyone who sells five or more guns annually; revoking the licenses of law-breaking gun manufacturers and dealers; reversing President Donald Trump's change to the definition of "fugitive from justice"; and closing a loophole to prevent dating partners convicted of domestic violence from buying guns.
Harris has yet to top the polls nationally or in any early primary state, even in South Carolina where Biden has a 31 point lead and a majority of the state’s black voters.
"There is a lot of Democrats that are in the race," said voter Julia Leonard. "And I’m not sure that they have a strategy. My goal would be to beat Trump."