Swalwell Announces Presidential Bid: I’m a ‘Leader Who Is Willing to Go Big’

April 9, 2019

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) announced Monday he’s joining the crowded field of Democratic candidates running for president during an interview on The Late Show.

Late night host Stephen Colbert noted Swalwell’s over-the-top criticism of President Donald Trump—including that the president is a Russian agent—and asked what he’ll do to oppose him. Swalwell lamented the lack of leadership and expressed his goal to change things.

"I see a country in quicksand, unable to solve problems and threats from abroad, unable to make life better for people here at home," Swalwell said.

Swalwell said it’s disappointing that the federal government hasn’t passed gun control legislation but also signaled his concern for regular Americans—nurses, truck drivers—who don’t feel like they’re getting ahead.

"None of that is going to change until we get a leader who is willing to go big on the issues we take on, be bold in the solutions we offer, and do good in the ways that we govern. I am ready to solve these problems. I am running for president of the United States," he said.

Swalwell is relatively inexperienced compared to bigger names in the field, such as former Vice President Joe Biden, but he didn’t say that’s a weakness.

"I’ve already done a lot, but I can do more," he said.

He touted founding the Future Forum, a congressional caucus for young Democrats, and, as he put it, defending democracy from his position on the House Intelligence Committee.

"I’ve defended our country from the Intelligence Committee while our democracy has been on the ropes," he said.

Swalwell has made gun control and Russia two of his signature issues, which may pose problems for him. He did not get a positive response when he floated the possibility of using nuclear weapons against people who resist gun confiscation, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not find evidence Trump orchestrated a conspiracy with Russia in the 2016 election.