Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon has become the first of Bernie Sanders' Senate colleagues to endorse his presidential candidacy.
In an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times and in an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show Wednesday, Merkley gave Sanders high marks for resisting trade treaties that Sanders says has cost American jobs.
Merkley said in the broadcast interview that the Vermont senator has on many issues "been out there leading, clearly long before he decided to run."
In the Times piece, Merkley also cited Sanders' positions on the dangers of global warming, and the "threats to our economy from high-risk strategies at our biggest banks." He said that Sanders has fought hard for military veterans, and he conceded he has an uphill battle ahead of him to win the Democratic nomination.