Rep. Eric Swalwell Humiliates Himself When Attempt to Snare Ben Shapiro in 'Gotcha' Question Backfires


Many leftists have made the mistake of thinking they could out-debate — or even just debate — Ben Shapiro.

The fast-talking firebrand and Daily Wire founder made a career out of “owning” the left in various viral videos.

On Wednesday, Shapiro added another proverbial leftist scalp to his collection: that of Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell.

Yes, for those who may not remember, this is the very same Swalwell once caught sleeping with a Chinese spy named Fang Fang.

Suffice it to say, Swalwell is not a good judge of character; so it wasn’t saying much when he attempted to attack Shapiro’s during a Wednesday House Judiciary Committee hearing.

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Shapiro chose to speak on behalf of his company, the Daily Wire, and conservative media more broadly during the hearing which was over the collective advertising industry’s attempt to censor conservative outlets as “unsafe” and “unfriendly” for advertisers.

Of course, as any good Democrat would, as soon as he got a chance to speak, Swalwell sought to pivot the discussion over the facts to attack Shapiro’s character.

It all started when Swalwell attempted to pivot the discussion to the much talked about Project 2025, a list of policy proposals from the right-wing think tank The Heritage Foundation.

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In recent days, establishment media outlets have attempted to point to the plan as this shocking and horrible thing, primarily because it would result in the dramatic downsizing of the federal government and all of its useless programs, among many other things.

Media attacks have painted the plan as a dystopian nightmare that will be instituted if and when Trump is elected back into office… even though Trump himself has noted he doesn’t like the plan and therefore wouldn’t implement it.

In perfect Shaprio-esque fashion, the Daily Wire host threw the question back at Swalwell as only he could.

“I think — like President Trump, I haven’t looked all that deeply at Project 2025 — but it seems that Democrats on this committee, sort of like Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, if they say Project 2025 enough their presidential candidate becomes alive again,” Shapiro said, prompting sounds of laughter throughout the room.

The discussion then dissolved from talking about policy to personal beliefs.

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Swalwell asked Shapiro what he thought about gay marriage policy — which Shapiro insisted was a state’s issue — Swalwell doubled down and asked Shapiro, a practicing religious Jew, whether he believed homosexuality is a sin.

“But you think it’s a sin to have same-sex marriage?” Swalwell said.

The pivot clearly seemed as jarring to Shapiro as it did to everyone else watching the hearing.

“Are you asking me as a religious Jew what I think… biblically?” a somewhat bewildered Shapiro asked.

Swalwell then doubled down again: “I’m just asking: Is it a sin to be gay?”

Shapiro then explained, again, what he thought about marital policy, and how he believed the government should not be in the business of cracking down on private sexual relationships or subsidizing those which do not directly benefit society (i.e. traditional marriage).

But Swalwell wasn’t interested in a discussion of policy. He wanted a soundbite that proved his political opponent was the evil anti-gay bigot the left had made him — and every other biblically consistent Jew and Christian — out to be.

“But again, just you to me, is it a sin, or not?” Swalwell asked.

It was then that Shapiro brought down the hammer.

“From a religious Jewish perspective, orientation is not a sin but activity is. That’s also the same perspective of most major religions as far as I’m aware,” Shapiro said.

A great point by Shapiro there — why don’t leftist lemmings like Swalwell call out fundamentalist Muslims for opposing gay marriage as well?

This was when Swalwell tried to create his “gotcha moment.” The congressman had his aides bring out a blow-up poster of Shapiro with a past quote of his noting that homosexual activity is, in fact, a sin.

This grand “gotcha moment” turned out to be little more than a reiteration of what Shapiro had already said.

(Honestly, the most biting thing about the quote poster was probably reminding Shapiro how baby-faced he looks whilst clean-shaven.)

Swalwell read the quote off the poster — which, again, was highly reiterative of Shapiro’s stance — with the Daily Wire firebrand hammering the final nail in Swalwell’s coffin, to the laughter of many of those in the hearing.

“Yes I’m a religious Jew, that’s true. You found me out,” Shapiro said as Swalwell read.

“I agree with me. Yes, that’s true,” Shapiro further quipped.

In a final cherry-on-top moment to the great sundae that this Swalwell takedown, Rep. Tom McClintock ended Swalwell’s grandstanding by reminding him of “the first rule of holes.”

“When you’re in one, stop digging,” McClintock said.

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
Topics of Expertise
Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment