Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Wednesday became the first sitting member of his chamber to endorse Bernie Sanders for president, lauding his colleague as having the “boldest” ideas of the campaign.
Merkley told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Sanders’ positions on trade, health care and the environment make him the better choice.
“This really is about the person who has the boldest, most fierce vision on the biggest issues facing America and the world,” Merkley said.
“Certainly that’s true in terms of international trade. Bernie understands that these trade treaties — where we compete with people earning as little as a dollar an hour — have done enormous damage to American workers (and) have shifted a tremendous number of jobs overseas. He’s fought for health care (and) the expansion of the federally qualified health centers was really his baby in the Affordable Care Act.”
Merkley acknowledged that Sanders had lots of ground to make up against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
“I think that anything’s possible in a campaign,” he said. “Obviously the [math] is an uphill climb, but we’ve been surprised about what happens in campaigns time and time again.”
Oregon voters go to the polls on May 17.
New York Democrats will vote Tuesday, with 247 delegates at stake.
Transport Workers Union Local 100 — which represents more than 42,000 MTA employees and tens of thousands more retirees — also endorsed Sanders on Wednesday.
Local president John Samuelsen said supporting Sanders is “the best way to address pay disparity.”
“In Bernie Sanders, we see a kindred spirit,” he added. “Bernie Sanders has been fighting on behalf of American workers his entire life.”