Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon said that his endorsement was about the character of the man which his why he announced his support for his Senate colleague Bernie Sanders today.
Transcript via MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
BRZEZINSKI: So I guess we begin with Bernie Sanders and what — first of all — I mean, is this late in the game to endorse? Or are you right on time? What was the decision process?
MERKLEY: Well, this is just the right time for Oregon. Oregon has a vote by mail. The ballots get mailed out on the 28th of this month, and so this is —
BRZEZINSKI: Do you think he can win?
MERKLEY: I think that anything’s possible in a campaign. Obviously the math is an uphill climb, but we’ve been surprised by what happens in campaigns time and again.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: So why did you — Why are you swimming against the political tide and becoming the first senator to endorse Bernie Sanders?
MERKLEY: Because this really is — is all about the person who has the boldest, most fierce vision on the biggest issue facing America and the world. 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, have shifted a tremendous number of jobs overseas. He’s fought for health care. The expansion of the federally qualified health centers was really his baby in the Affordable Care Act. He has proceeded to really be a wonderful leader for veterans, and certainly on — when it comes to global warming, he is the person who understands that if we are going to take this on, as a moral responsibility for our generation and this planet, that we have to leave the vast bulk of fossil fuels in the ground.
Issue after issue, campaign finance, he’s been out there leading clearly long before he ever decided to run.
It is clear from his comments that Sen. Merkley’s endorsement was not about the political math. Merkley isn’t out to hop on the bandwagon. One of the criticisms of Sen. Sanders had been that none of his fellow Senators had endorsed his campaign, but that changed with today’s endorsement.
As the senator from Oregon said, no one should kid themselves. Bernie Sanders is facing a big deficit in pledged delegates. The polling in both New York and Pennsylvania haven’t shown a big swing for Sanders. If he is going to catch Hillary Clinton, it will have to be a series of titanic primary day upsets.
Senator Sanders is passionate and deeply committed to issues the lives of ordinary Americans on a daily basis. The polling news in New York has not been good for Sanders this week, so now was the perfect time to give the campaign a burst of positive news via the Merkley endorsement.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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