U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California, has not made an official announcement about running for president in 2020.
Right now, the Iowa native said it’s just a thought. There is still time to make a decision.
Swalwell was in Davenport on Saturday night to attend the “Win Congress, Change America” event at the River Music Experience. The event was sponsored by the Scott County Democrats.
“I’m here because I want to thank Iowans for sending us two new House members, the first women elected to the House of Representatives from Iowa and helping us win the House,” Swalwell said before the event began.
He was referring to Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque and Cindy Axne of Des Moines.
Swalwell said he invested “a lot of time and resources in Iowa because I was born in the western part of the state and I believe that winning the majority (in the House of Representatives) had to go through Iowa.”
There were three viable targets, he said, “so we had about 11 people on the ground from my team and volunteers in my district, and we invested over $100,000 supporting campaigns here.”
It was not just congressional campaigns, but the races for secretary of state, governor, auditor, “up and down the ballot” he said. Investing in Iowa was the best way to change the course of the House, he added.
Swalwell, 37, who represents the San Francisco Bay area, said his father was a police officer in the northern Iowa town of Algona.
“It all started here in Iowa,” he said. “This is where I learned right from wrong.”
As for his message to Scott County Democrats, Swalwell said that, “If you believe in America, you believe that if you work hard it adds up to something. You do better for yourself and you look at your kids and you dream bigger for them.
“We have to look at that promise and make sure it is fulfilled everywhere, and not just by those folks invested in the stock market or work on the top floor of a building or who are in communities with better schools,” he said.
“It has to reach everyone and that’s what we should seek in our country whether that’s what we do in the next two years in Congress or what the next president can do for our country,” he added.
Swalwell said that in the meantime there are opportunities to collaborate with President Donald Trump on infrastructure, health care protections “because this election was very much about health care,” on background checks and on immigration.
“He (President Trump) said that if we pass a 'Dream Act' he would take the heat and sign the bill,” Swalwell said. “Whether he lives up to that or not, it’s hard to tell if he will keep his word.”
Swalwell said that the House will continue to conduct investigations on Russia’s meddling in the election, Trump’s tax returns and the “cashing in” on access to the Oval Office. “We’ll do our job,” he said.
Swalwell pointed out that, “I’m the son of two Republicans, my brothers are cops in the Bay area, and I married a Hoosier from Indiana, Mike Pence country. I’ve grown up with Republicans. I feel comfortable working with them.
“I feel the next president is going to have to be able to throw a punch, take a punch and at the end of the election bring the country together,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of people who can throw a punch, we’ve got a lot of people who can take a punch, but having somebody who can unite and bring both sides together, bring the country together.”