California congressman Eric Swalwell just dropped out of the 2020 presidential race to run for re-election in the House

  • CongressmanEric Swalwell of California is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, he announced in a Monday press conference at his campaign headquarters in Dublin, California.
  • Swalwell, 38, entered the 2020 field in early April, announcing he would run a presidential campaign focused on ushering in a new generation of leadership and combating gun violence.
  • Swalwell’s campaign failed to gain much traction in the polls, however, with Swalwell struggling to compete in a giant field of 26 candidates — and frequently putting his foot in his mouth on social media and in in-person campaign events.
  • As both Politico and The New York Times have reported, Swalwell was in danger of being bumped off the stage for the next round of debates in July due to his low polling average.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

CongressmanEric Swalwell of California is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, he announced in a Monday press conference at his campaign headquarters in Dublin, California.

Swalwell, 38, currently represents California’s 15th congressional district — located east of San Francisco — and entered the 2020 field in early April, announcing he would run a presidential campaign focused on ushering in a new generation of leadership and combating gun violence.

“We have to be honest about our own candidacy’s viability,” Swalwell said at the press conference. “Today ends our presidential campaign, but it is the beginning of an opportunity in Congress with a new perspective shaped by the lives that have touched me and my campaign over the past few months.”

He added that he was “fired up” to go back to Washington and continue his work in Congress, including on combatting gun violence, adding that he had “no regrets.”

The congressman made a name for himself in Congress as a top Democrat on the high-profile House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee, frequently appearing on cable news to discuss the latest twists and turns in those committees’ investigations of the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia.

Read more: Eric Swalwell tweets about Trump more than any other 2020 candidate, but it may not be an effective strategy

“I see a country in quicksand,” Swalwelltold “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert of his decision to run. “Unable to solve threats from abroad, and unable to make life better for people here at home.”

Swalwell’s campaign failed to gain much traction in the polls, however, with Swalwell struggling to compete in a giant field of 26 candidates — and frequently putting his foot in his mouthon social media and at campaign events.

Swalwell was widely mocked by conservatives for his most notable policy proposal of buying back assault weapons, frequently tangling with the National Rifle Association on Twitter.

He also inspired eye rolls and groanswith a line he included in many of his speeches in which he compared the Democrats to the Avengers and the Republicans to the Hunger Games.

In the first Democratic debate in June, Swalwell failed to take advantage of the opportunity to establish himself as a serious candidate.

Read more: The 9 most cringeworthy social-media fails of the 2020 presidential campaign

He clumsily tried to take a shot at former Vice President Joe Bidenby calling on him to “pass the torch” to the younger generation (fellow Californian Sen.Kamala Harris successfully took Biden to task over his record on race), received a death glare from Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and inspired eye rolls with aline in his closing statement in which he said, “when I’m not changing diapers, I’m changing Washington.”

As bothPolitico andThe New York Times have reported, Swalwell was in danger of being bumped off the stage for the next round of debates in July due to his low polling average.

Andwith other candidates already lining up to run in his district, he’s in danger of losing his congressional seat and the prestigious committee assignments that go with it.

After primarying another Democrat to win his seat back in 2012, Swalwellis facing a progressive primary challenge from Aisha Wahab, a 31-year-old city councilwoman from Hayward, California.

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