News & Politics

Rep. Eric Swalwell, Who Threatened to Nuke Gun Owners, Is Running for President... on Gun Control

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

On Monday, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) announced he’s running for president — on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Swalwell is a former prosecutor born in Iowa and best known for his obsession with the Trump-Russia collusion narrative and his threat to use nuclear weapons against Americans who refuse to turn over their “assault weapons.” Swalwell seems to be focusing his campaign on the issue of gun confiscation.

In his campaign launch video, the 38-year-old Swalwell speaks with a gun shop owner, and then he utters this statement: “Most Americans believe that to be free of gun violence, we should take the most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous people.” Yet Swalwell himself has endorsed using the most dangerous weapons — nuclear weapons.

Just last November, in a tweet Swalwell has not yet deleted, the congressman confirmed the worst fears of conservative gun owners. He has proposed a ban on and federal buyback of all “assault weapons” in the U.S. He made no bones about the potential war between the government and those who refuse to comply.

When Infowars’ Joe Biggs pressed the congressman on what would happen, Swalwell took the bait. “So basically [Eric Swalwell] wants a war,” Biggs tweeted. “Because that’s what you would get. You’re outta your f**king mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the gov all the power.”

Rather than remaining silent, Swalwell took the bait and confirmed conservatives’ fears. Smarter Democrats would refuse to respond, because there is no good response. Instead, this congressman tweeted, “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.”

The congressman later argued that “no one is nuking anyone or threatening that,” but that is exactly what he just did.

Swalwell’s campaign slogan is “Go big, be bold, do good.” If this congressman defines gun confiscation under the threat of nuclear attacks as “doing good,” Americans should be worried.

If Swalwell wants to keep “the most dangerous weapons out of the hands of the most dangerous people,” many gun owners might urge him to take a good hard look in the mirror.

This congressman is not just obsessed with confiscating certain guns, however. He also has gone on and on about the Trump-Russia collusion narrative. Even after Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed his report and Attorney General Bill Barr reported that Mueller cleared Trump of collusion, Swalwell declared that the president is a “Russian agent.”

He has passed a total of two pages of legislation, one of which merely renamed a post office.

Yet Swalwell also mocked Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) when she received threats at her office. “Boo hoo hoo,” he tweeted. “You’re a senator who police will protect. A sexual assault victim can’t sleep in her home tonight because of threats. Where are you sleeping? She’s on her own while you and your [Senate Republican] colleagues try to rush her through a hearing.”

The congressman later rightly apologized for this “ugly behavior,” but his rush to slam Collins on this should worry Americans. This spat came during the confirmation battle for Brett Kavanaugh, when Democrats chanted “believe all women” despite the lack of evidence proving Kavanaugh’s guilt. Swalwell was willing to make light of threats against a woman in his rush to signal his #MeToo credentials.

Yet there is one silver lining to Swalwell’s run for president. Swalwell has attacked the Democratic National Committee’s decision against allowing Fox News to host any of the 2020 Democratic debates. He himself goes on Fox frequently, and featured a video clip from an interview with Tucker Carlson in his campaign video.

“So many women come up to me across the country and say, ‘Hey, I love seeing you on Fox News,’ and then whisper, ‘Don’t worry, I’m not a Republican, my husband watches it and it’s the only way I can watch.’ I don’t want to dismiss people like that,” Swalwell said in March. He suggested that many Democrats watch Fox News because the owner of their establishment prefers that news channel over others. “What about the bartenders whose bar owner insist that’s what’s on in the restaurant? So you may be able to dismiss the host and president who they support but we can’t dismiss the viewers.”

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.