Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), the East Bay congressman who has become a ubiquitous presence on cable news since the start of the “Russia collusion” investigations, told CNN’s Jake Tapper last week that he is considering a possible run for president in 2020.
In the midst of his 10th visit to Iowa since President Trump was elected, @RepSwalwell, D-CA, tells me he’s considering a presidential run. He’s speaking at the soap box at the Iowa state fair tomorrow & headlining @DaveForIowa dinner tonight.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 10, 2018
The San Jose Mercury News reports that Swalwell is capitalizing on his unusually intense media schedule, and his Iowa roots:
The third-term congressman made 282 national TV appearances in 2017 and 233 so far in 2018, his staff said — more than one per day this year. That’s compared to just 28 in all of 2016.
That prominence has won him a raft of invitations from Iowa. He’s spoken at fundraising dinners, picnics, and on college campuses around the state. He has or is scheduled to campaign with three Iowa Democrats running for congress, as well as a handful of state legislative candidates.
In an interview, Swalwell — who was born in Iowa — said he was focused on helping Democrats retake the House in 2018, including by winning competitive races there. “If people are interested in changing the direction of the country, Iowa is the battleground,” he said.
But he also said he isn’t ruling out a presidential run in 2020.
Swallowed has hinted at impeaching President Donald Trump, telling MSNBC that Trump was “obstructing an investigation into his campaign where he is potentially a suspect. The consequences, of course, are removal from office.”
Also in May, Swalwell said that American democracy was not only under attack from Russia, but from “President Trump and his fixers in Congress, something that we’ve never seen before.”
Last month, he rejected Trump’s idea of inviting Russian president Vladimir Putin to a meeting in Washington, D.C., saying the Russian leader “shouldn’t be in our country.”
He also holds left-wing positions on a number of issues. He believes in confiscating so-called “assault weapons,” for example, but rejects the actual word “confiscation.”
Swalwell, who has represented his district since 2013 and sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is not the first California candidate to consider a run: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is currently considered a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Nor is Swalwell the first to parlay his profile from attacking Trump into presidential politics: porn star Stormey Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, is also courting voters in Iowa.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.