Swalwell says he will make 2020 decision 'by the end of the month'

Swalwell says he will make 2020 decision 'by the end of the month'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHickenlooper ends presidential bid Scenes from Iowa State Fair: Surging Warren, Harris draw big crowds Nadler hits gas on impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that he will make a decision on a 2020 presidential run by the end of March and that he will make gun violence and climate change key campaign issues if he does decide to run.

Asked during a question-and-answer session at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics when he plans to announce a decision on a White House bid, Swalwell said “by the end of the month.”

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“There are three questions I’ve asked myself,” he said. “Do I think I can make a difference? Do I think I can win? Because I don’t think — even if you can make a difference, if you can’t win, it’s a hell of a sacrifice to take your family and friends and home constituents through.”

“And then three, can we get the child care for two kids under two to do it?”

While Swalwell has said for weeks that he is close to making a 2020 decision, his remarks on Tuesday provided the clearest timeline yet of when an announcement could come.

Swalwell has gained a national profile in recent years while sitting on two key House panels examining Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

The four-term congressman has entertained the notion of a 2020 bid for months, crisscrossing key early voting states, like Iowa and New Hampshire, that will play a crucial role in determining the eventual Democratic presidential nominee.

If he does jump into the race, he’ll face an already-crowded field of primary opponents that includes Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Panel: Jill Biden's campaign message MORE (D-Mass.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerCastro qualifies for next Democratic primary debates Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Biden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report MORE (D-N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Sanders leads Democratic field in Colorado poll MORE (D-Calif.) along with roughly a dozen other Democrats.

Also looming over the Democratic primary is the pending entrance of other high-profile politicians. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Panel: Jill Biden's campaign message MORE, who leads a number of polls, and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) are both expected to announce 2020 decisions soon.

Swalwell said that, if he does mount a White House campaign, he’s not likely to run for reelection to his House seat in 2020.

“I don’t think you can run for both,” he said. “I do believe that if you’re running for president then you should be running for president.”