Bernie Sanders Wins His First Senate Endorsement

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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Oregon Democratic Sen. [crscore]Jeff Merkley[/crscore] endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president Wednesday, saying former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be “strong and capable,” but Bernie is “boldly and fiercely” taking on the country’s problems.

“Hillary Clinton has a remarkable record,” Merkley wrote in a New York Times op-ed announcing his endorsement.”She would be a strong and capable president. But Bernie Sanders is boldly and fiercely addressing the biggest challenges facing our country.”

Merkley is the first senator to endorse Sanders, who has high favorability numbers and a string of recent primary victories under his belt, but lags way behind Clinton in delegates.

“We need big ideas,” Merkley wrote. “We need to rethink the status quo.”

He indicated a struggling middle-class and greedy special interests as the biggest problems facing the country today. President Barack Obama has made the country more “fair” and “prosperous,” he wrote, but the economy is “rigged” in favor of the rich.

He pointed to Sanders’ opposition to trade deals, global warming activism and opposition to liberal campaign finance laws as evidence he’s the best candidate to represent the middle class.

“NO decision we make as Americans more dramatically affects the direction of our country than our choice for president,” he wrote. “He or she is more than the manager of the executive branch, commander in chief or appointer of judges. The president reflects, but also helps define, our national values, priorities and direction.”

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