Swalwell Promised He’d Give Up Seat in Congress if He Ran for President

'You have to assure the people...that you don't have a lifeboat'

Eric Swalwell
Eric Swalwell / Getty Images
• July 8, 2019 1:57 pm


Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.), who will reportedly drop out of the Democratic presidential primary Monday afternoon, said he would give up his seat in Congress if he ran for president during a February interview on the It's All Political podcast.

"If you decide to run for president, would you give up your seat in Congress?" asked host and San Francisco Chronicle reporter Joe Garofoli.

"Yes," Swalwell responded.

"You would give it up?" Garofoli pressed.

"Yes," Swalwell said. "I think you have to."


Swalwell said voters needed to be assured "you're not hedging and that you don't have a lifeboat," he said.

"If you're seeking such a big job that would affect so many people, I think you have to assure the people you're asking to vote for you that you're not hedging and that you don't have a lifeboat," Swalwell said.

"Burn the boats," Garofoli interjected.

"Burn the boats as Cortes did. They stormed the land and he had them burn the ships behind them so there was no looking back, and I would want people to know I'm putting my all into this and I don't have a life insurance policy," Swalwell continued.

"That's such a non-politician thing to do. I'm surprised at that frankly," Garofoli said.

"I've told our staff as we plan and look at how we could do this that the one thing I don't want on an agenda is what happens if I lose, what do I do if I lose because the truth is I was the first in my family to go to college. That' s all my dad wanted me to do. I'm gonna be fine. I'm playing with the house's money as far as making my parents proud. So we're not trying to sell a book or get a leadership position anywhere else. If I'm gonna run, it's gonna be because I think we can win and most importantly make a difference," Swalwell said.

The congressman will announce Monday that he will indeed seek reelection to the House of Representatives, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Published under: 2020 Election, Eric Swalwell