California Rep. Eric 'Duke Nukem' Swalwell announced today that he is ending his presidential bid that focused on the forced confiscation of popular semi-automatic rifles that are rarely used in mass shootings.
“Being honest with ourselves, we had to look at how much money we were raising, where we were in the polls," Swalwell told supporters, arguing that he had "moved the needle on the debate stage with an issue I was very passionate about," referring to gun control measures. “So we’ve achieved that,’’ he said. “But we have to be honest about our own candidacy’s viability."
The California congressman — who had previously told several area Democratic clubs that he would not seek re-election to the House — is facing a primary challenge from Hayward Councilmember Aisha Wahab, who has already been endorsed by an array of local and state elected officials. Wahab has taken a page from Swalwell’s playbook by presenting herself as a face of change in the district.
Though Swalwell earlier this year promised to give up his House seat as he ran for president, he later walked back those comments. But his decision to pursue a White House bid still toppled some political dominoes in his Bay Area district, where the number of Democratic aspirants far outnumbers the available seats in Congress.
Twitter wag Iowahawk had this bit of wisdom to add to the announcement:
As God is my witness, I thought "Nuke Oklahoma" was a winning campaign issuehttps://t.co/lCrkVB5fcH
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) July 8, 2019
The bad news is that Swalwell will likely continue to be part of California's congressional delegation. The good news is that he is unlikely to appear on any late-night talk shows or primetime MSNBC programs.
Gun control, however will continue to be one of the top issues in the Democratic primary. It will be interesting to see if his party's presidential nominee carries his confiscation plank into the general election.