Swalwell says rich 'getting off the hook,' moves closer to launching White House bid

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California – returning to New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House, to test the presidential waters – called for raising taxes on the wealthy.

Asked by Fox News if he agrees with a new proposal by presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to place a wealth tax on the ultra-rich, Swalwell said, “she’s right that the wealthiest Americans are getting off the hook and paying less. ... I do support increasing the taxes that the wealthiest pay.”

Swalwell was interviewed minutes before he addressed and took questions from party activists at an event in Exeter organized by the Rockingham Country Democrats.

The four-term congressman -- he represents California’s 15th District -- also advocated for upping the tax rates for some businesses. “If you have corporations share with their employees and give them equity in the company, they should get a lower tax rate. But if they don’t, they should pay more,” he explained.

In both his speech and his interview, Swalwell repeated his trademark line of “going big and being bold” when it comes to his progressive agenda, including the much-talked=about Green New Deal.

Rep. Eric Swalwell at a Rockingham Country Democrats event in Exeter, New Hampshire.

Rep. Eric Swalwell at a Rockingham Country Democrats event in Exeter, New Hampshire. (Fox News)

Asked how he would pay for such programs, the congressman explained that “the return on investment can be greater than what you put in and when it comes to a green economy, that’s the case.”

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The 38-year old lawmaker, who was making his third trip to New Hampshire since November, is returning in late February to headline "Politics and Eggs,’" a significant stop for White House hopefuls.

Sounding like he’s all but certain to run, the congressman told Fox News, “we’re getting close. I’ve got staff in Iowa. We’re hiring in New Hampshire, South Carolina right now. I’m starting to put together the infrastructure that you need. But I see nothing but green lights on this journey so far.”

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“We’ll be back here a lot. We’re going to get to know this place pretty well,” he added.

Swalwell acknowledged that he'd compete for the nomination with rivals with bigger names and bigger campaign war chests. Still, he said, “we’re going to be able to compete,” touting his experience on the House Intelligence Committee and his ability to connect with everyday people thanks to a working-class upbringing.