Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on a gun control platform, was widely denounced Friday after attacking conservative commentator Dana Loesch with what was characterized as an incredibly sexist message.
The incident began after Loesch on Tuesday noted that Swalwell has dodged questions regarding previous statements he made about gun control in which he advocated for firearm confiscation and jail time for legal gun owners who refuse to give up their firearms.
BTW — @ericswalwell has dodged legitimate questions about his gun confiscation-and-jail policy for quite some time: https://t.co/lx8r1UJzJn— Dana Loesch (@Dana Loesch)1555435893.0
In response, Swalwell said he does not "aim down," and therefore, would not debate Loesch or answer her questions. Instead, the California Democrat said he would only discuss gun-related issues with National Rifle Association president Oliver North.
👋🏼 Ms. Loesch — I see you’ve spent another day blowing up my Twitter. Thank you for following! But here’s the deal,… https://t.co/ZbpKAGc9oP— Eric Swalwell (@Eric Swalwell)1555673256.0
How did Loesch respond?
Loesch highlighted the sexist undertones of Swalwell's message — then said she is Swalwell's "Huckleberry." The implication, of course, is that Swalwell is afraid to debate Loesch because he will lose.
I didn’t spend a day, I tweeted you several times responding to *you* a couple days ago, so by your own logic you b… https://t.co/DNSn0RcaQW— Dana Loesch (@Dana Loesch)1555685986.0
I’m your Huckleberry. Unless you’re afraid to lose. ¯\_( ツ)_/¯ https://t.co/0yMLiCBQQp— Dana Loesch (@Dana Loesch)1555688893.0
Swalwell did not respond to Loesch's last message.
What was the general reaction to Swalwell's message?
It was not just Loesch who found Swalwell's message — that he will not debate Loesch, but will debate North — demeaning and sexist. In fact, Swalwell was widely denounced and rebuked for his sexist implication.
If any Republican male rep just told an accomplished woman in a leadership position at a top organization to essent… https://t.co/40QaehhKaG— Chad Felix Greene (@Chad Felix Greene)1555688886.0
Eric Swalwell talking down to an accomplished woman that he doesn't believe is good enough to debate with and liter… https://t.co/Kdcf4tok9P— Chad Felix Greene (@Chad Felix Greene)1555687795.0
Headline: "Democratic Rep Eric Swalwell asks woman in charge if there is a man he can speak to" https://t.co/yP0cuTYCr7— Chad Felix Greene (@Chad Felix Greene)1555689567.0
A coward AND a sexist.....
You won't debate because she would destroy you!
I am willing to offer my services to mediate the debate between both of you for FREE!
I want a front row seat to watch you get embarrassed!
What do you say @DLoesch ?
— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) April 19, 2019
A mouthpiece?! @DLoesch is a CITIZEN. You refuse to talk to a citizen about the policies you want to force on us... just because you don't like what she does for a living? Wow that's creepy. Nothing says “let me represent you" like ignoring citizens' concerns about our self-govt.
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) April 19, 2019
Way to be sexist, Eric. @DLoesch would have a field day with you, and you know it.
— Sara Gonzales (@SaraGonzalesTX) April 20, 2019
Sexism isn't a good look @ericswalwell. Seems more likely that you don't want to debate @DLoesch because you know she'll make you look as foolish as you are. By the way more people know who she is than know who you are so the "aiming down" comment is transparent sexism.
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) April 20, 2019