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 SwalwellFundraising numbers highlight growing divide in 2020 race The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to squash fight with progressives The Hill's Morning Report - 2020 jitters hit both parties in the Senate MORE (D-Calif.) stood by his comments that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden jokes he's ready for a push-up competition with Trump Biden says his presidency is not 'a third term of Obama' Biden knocks Trump on tweets about 'smart as hell' Ocasio-Cortez 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 HarrisHarris slams DOJ decision not to charge police in Eric Garner's death Harris vows to 'put people over profit' in prescription drug plan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet MORE (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' Trump says administration will 'take a look' after Thiel raises concerns about Google, China Thiel calls Warren the most 'dangerous' Democratic candidate MORE (D-Mass.) all have the potential to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA 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.