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Democrat Eric Swalwell drops out of presidential race

Eric Swalwell drops out of presidential race
California Rep. Eric Swalwell drops out of presidential race 10:26

"Pass the torch," Rep. Eric Swalwell told former Vice President Joe Biden two weeks ago. But if he does, Swalwell won't be around to take the handoff.

The longshot 2020 candidate, who tried to make a name for himself on cable news shows as the voice of a younger political generation, dropped out of the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential race Monday. 

"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 mine and our campaign throughout these last three months to bring that promise of America to all Americans," Swalwell told reporters at a press conference.

Swalwell ran with gun control at the center of his platform, and he was the first presidential candidate to call not only for a ban on assault-style rifles, but also for the government to buy the ones already in public hands.

"He's clearly leading the conversation around addressing gun violence in America," spokesperson Caitlyn McNamee said last week.

But Swalwell had fallen from the 1% he was polling at early on in his short campaign, and he was at high risk of being bumped from the second debate.

To little avail, the 38-year-old Bay Area congressman recently attempted to make a mark with some swings at rival candidates during last month's Democratic debate. After an early shot at Biden, Swalwell demanded South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigeig fire his police chief after an officer in his city shot an unarmed black man. 

"So under Indiana law, this will be investigated and there will be accountability for the officer," Buttigeig replied.

Swalwell was never considered a top presidential contender, but he could continue to play a part in the national conversation from his seat in the House. He's a vocal, pro-impeachment member of the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, the latter of which will hold a hearing titled "Constitutional Processes for Addressing Presidential Misconduct" on Friday.

"I'll never forget the people I met and lessons I learned while travelling around our great nation ..." Swalwell said. "I will take those lessons back to Congress, serving my friends and neighbors in California's 15th District while using my seats on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees to make our nation safer and uphold the rule of law for all Americans."

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