Chris Matthews presses Swalwell on backing down on 'pass the torch' stance: 'I don't get you on this'
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Even after dropping out of the presidential race, Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate 5 takeaways from fiery Democratic debate MORE (D-Calif.) stood by his comments that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency 2020 candidates keep fitness on track while on the trail Mark Mellman: The most important moment in history? MORE should “pass the torch” to the younger generation in the 2020 Democratic primary.

“It was never about age,” Swalwell said in a Wednesday interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. “Someone could be new on the scene that is an older American. It was about having a next generation of leadership and making sure that these issues that we’re facing right now, on gun violence, on student loan debt.”

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“I’m saying it’s time to pass the torch to people who have not been around for decades working on these issues. You know, I am of a generation that has lived with failure to act on a lot of these issues, and we want to step up and lead right now,” Swalwell continued.

Swalwell urged Biden to “pass the torch” to younger generations of leaders as the two sparred during the first Democratic debate of the 2020 campaign.

However, Swalwell added that he believes 2020 hopefuls Biden, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Mark Mellman: The most important moment in history? Biden leads in new national poll, Warren close behind in second place MORE (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Mark Mellman: The most important moment in history? Katie Pavlich: The Democrats' desperate do-overs MORE (D-Mass.) all have the potential to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE in a 2020 matchup, regardless of age. Swalwell was the first Democratic nominee to drop out of the primary Monday.

“But look, Joe Biden can beat Donald Trump. Kamala Harris can beat Donald Trump. Elizabeth Warren can beat Donald Trump. We’ve got a lot of talented folks, and it’s nice to be a citizen sitting on the couch with my two-year-old son and my eight-month-old daughter and watching this play out,” Swalwell said.

Swalwell admitted he believes Biden is “competent” to be president, but he reinforced his belief that a younger generation that will have to live with issues like climate change and student loan debt should lead now.

“I just happen to believe, and my candidacy was rooted in, passing the torch to the generation that’s going to have to live with the consequences of inaction on climate, that’s going to have to live on the quicksand of student loan debt that people are on and the fear that people have of sending their kids to school and fearing gun violence that we’re living these issues and maybe perhaps we should be leading on it and being on the stage with Donald Trump,” Swalwell said.