Eric Swalwell in Interviews during 2018-2020


On Gun Control: Assault weapon buyback program, with criminal enforcement

Cory Booker was asked on CNN about his gun control proposals: "Your competitor in the 2020 race, Congressman Eric Swalwell has also, like you, proposed an assault weapons ban. He's proposing a buyback program where Americans who currently have those guns could sell them essentially to the government, but if they don't, within a certain period of time, they would be prosecuted--thrown in jail, perhaps. Are you supportive of the same?"

Booker responded affirmatively that the law would be enforced with criminal sanctions after a "reasonable period." He had said earlier: "The critical thing is, I think most Americans agree, that these weapons of war should not be on our streets." Earlier in the day, Booker unveiled a 14-part gun control plan, which included a ban on assault weapons including high capacity magazines.

Source: Washington Examiner on 2020 Democratic primary May 6, 2019

On Gun Control: Be big; be bold; do good; gun control

Key criticisms of Swalwell:
Source: Axios.com on 2020 Democratic primary Apr 22, 2019

On Education: College bargain: no-interest loans & debt-free college

Swalwell would advocate for no-interest federal student loans as well as debt-free college, according to his campaign website. He's introduced a number of bills in Congress on these issues, including several that would enhance student loan forgiveness and deductions.

At a February "Politics and Eggs" breakfast in New Hampshire, Swalwell proposed a "college bargain" system that would allow students to help pay for their schooling through part-time work-study or volunteer jobs.

Source: PBS News Hour on 2020 Democratic primary Apr 10, 2019

On Energy & Oil: Support for Green New Deal and Paris climate accord

Swalwell has˙voiced support for the Green New Deal,˙the progressive climate action bill that House Democrats introduced in February. He has also expressed strong disapproval of President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.
Source: PBS News Hour on 2020 Democratic primary Apr 10, 2019

On Families & Children: No firearms for people with history of domestic violence

Gun control: Ban assault weapons and institute a federal buy-back program. Swalwell has co-sponsored numerous gun control-related bills in Congress, including a bipartisan measure to expand background check requirements. In February, Swalwell introduced the "No Guns for Abusers" Act, which aims to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals with a history of domestic violence.

The congressman penned a USA Today op-ed last May calling for a ban on military-style assault weapons, and pushing for a federal buy-back program. (Swalwell's call for the weapons ban landed him on the cover of the NRA's magazine, "Freedom," with the headline "Gas Bag in the House.") The congressman reiterated his stance on guns at a town hall on ending gun violence in Sunrise, Florida, this week.

Source: PBS News Hour on 2020 Democratic primary Apr 10, 2019

On Health Care: Coverage for all, but don't eliminate private insurers

Swalwell published an op-ed in support of Medicare for All last month, writing that the policy is "the obvious solution to a health care system that still drives people to financial ruin." Swalwell also co-sponsored a Medicare for All bill in February.

In March, Swalwell said he supports "coverage for all" but is not in favor of eliminating private insurers, as some of his competitors are. A page that was once dedicated to the issue on his website is currently not working.

Source: PBS News Hour on 2020 Democratic primary Apr 10, 2019

On Immigration: Visit Northern Triangle to gain compassion for those fleeing

Swalwell has been critical of the president's immigration policies, recently tweeting that he'd like Trump to show more "compassion" by visiting the Central American countries many migrants are fleeing from to witness the violent conditions there.

The congressman supported the bipartisan immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013 (the bill died in the House), as well as legislation to protect so-called "DREAMers," immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as minors.

Source: PBS News Hour on 2020 Democratic primary Apr 10, 2019

On Gun Control: After mass shootings, time to make gun control an issue

Swalwell will center his campaign on gun control. Helping him do that will be Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Swalwell has written about being inspired by the youth movement in his call to ban all assault weapons. "We are doing a town hall in Parkland," he told me. "And I do believe that gun safety has to be a top 2020 issue."
Source: The Atlantic, "Gun Safety," on 2020 Democratic primary Apr 4, 2019

On Families & Children: Agrees with Obama that kids should dream bigger than parents

[Eric Swalwell, in a repeated campaign phrase says], "The economy is you. It's how you're doing. Whether you're saving more, doing better, and dreaming bigger." Eric Swalwell, what does that mean?

Eric Swalwell isn't even the first person to use the phrase "doing better and dreaming bigger." That would be Barack Obama, who said it in a context that actually made sense. From a 2012 campaign speech:

"Are we going to make sure that an honest day's work is rewarded so that somebody who really works hard, they can afford to own their own home, and they'll have health care when they get sick, and they'll be able to retire with dignity and respect? And most of all, [that] they'll be able to make sure that their kids are doing better and dreaming bigger than they did?"

Obama's formulation, in which you work hard so your kids can have bigger dreams than you did, is not necessarily a groundbreaking concept, but at least it's one that tracks logically. Eric Swalwell is going to have to ... do bett

Source: Slate, "Most Vapid Sound Bite," on 2020 Democratic primary Apr 3, 2019

On Principles & Values: If you work hard it adds up to dreaming bigger

Swalwell says about running for president, "I think I could be a candidate who would make sure that if you work hard it adds up to doing better and dreaming bigger. That's why I'm considering it."

Ye gods. If you work hard it adds up to dreaming bigger? Eric Swalwell, what does that mean? Making it even worse is that this is apparently not just something that slipped out of his mouth: It's an Eric Swalwell catchphrase. Here he is last November:

@RepSwalwell: "The economy is NOT the stock market, the unemployment rate, or GDP. It's YOU. Are you doing better, saving more, and looking at your kids and dreaming bigger? This @MarketWatch story shows for 3 out of 4 of us, the economy is not working. Let's make it work for ALL. #TrumpSlump"

And last April at a speech in Iowa: "The economy is you. It's how you're doing. Whether you're saving more, doing better, and dreaming bigger."

Source: Slate, "Most Vapid Sound Bite," on 2020 Democratic primary Apr 3, 2019

On Health Care: Keep private insurance; allow public option

He's for allowing Americans to have a choice between private healthcare coverage and government-run health benefits. Swalwell told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he's opposed to Medicare for All proposals supported by other Democrats running for President that would bring an end to private insurance. "I support coverage for all, which would be a public option that would drive down the pressure on the private insurers," Swalwell said.
Source: Forbes Magazine, "Coverage," on 2020 Democratic primary Mar 19, 2019

On Health Care: Yes to Medicare-for-All after time in the ICU with daughter

There's no place better to learn about the American health care system than in a hospital, among the afflicted and their families. You can particularly learn a lot by sleeping a few nights in your infant daughter's hospital room. We need a Medicare for All universal health guarantee. We need, and Americans deserve, a health care system in which if you get sick you get seen, as well as one in which if you get seen, you don't go broke because of it.
Source: Swalwell OpEd on NBC News for 2020 Democratic primary Mar 2, 2019

On Gun Control: Ban assault weapons and buy back as many as possible

Reinstating the federal˙assault weapons ban˙that was in effect from 1994 to 2004 would prohibit manufacture and sales, but it would not affect weapons already possessed. We should ban possession of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons, we should buy back such weapons from all who choose to abide by the law, and we should criminally prosecute any who choose to defy it by keeping their weapons.
Source: Swalwell OpEd in USA Today for 2020 Democratic primary May 3, 2018

The above quotations are from Interviews during 2018-2020, interviewing Democratic presidential hopefuls for 2020.
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Page last updated: Jun 10, 2019