Sometimes politicians make those statements they wish they hadn't.
Remember Hillary Clinton's description of vast numbers of Americans as "deplorables?"
And Barack Obama's now-proven silly claim that under his Obamacare, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor?"
And now there's U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell's "threat" to use government nukes against Americans who would refuse to give up their firearms under his suggestion for a confiscation program.
Most of those politicians try to let those comments die.
It's in their opponents' TV ads that they keep appearing.
In Swalwell's case, however, the California Democrat is returning it to the headlines.
On Twitchy was the report, "Wow. Rep. Eric Swalwell just can't keep that foot out of his mouth. First, he set all of those crazy militia types straight when it comes to fighting against a tyrannical government. The government has nukes, and all they have is the AR-15s he'd like to confiscate."
Swalwell's threat was to a commenter who said if he pursued a gun-confiscation program, actually he wanted to buy back weapons and then criminally prosecute those who would not cooperate, that the government "has nukes." And the war would be "short."
"You'd think Swalwell would be smart enough to let his ridiculous tweet slide out of the news cycle, but no: he cited fact-checking site Snopes.com as proof that he didn't make a 'serious threat to nuke gun owners,'" Twitchy said.
Swalwell wrote on social media: "Well this should end the faux-outrage from gun groups. @snopes DEBUNKS @DailyCaller and others who claimed I made serious threat to nuke gun-owners."
First, there's the issue that Snopes is notoriously liberal and trusted by almost no conservative in America.
Second, it's not really what Snopes found.
The "fact-checking" site said of the statement: "In November 2018, Democratic U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell suggested launching nuclear weapons against gun-owners who refused to hand over or sell semi-automatic rifles to the U.S. government" that it was a "mixture" of true and false.
"In a tweet on 16 November, Swalwell responded to a gun rights enthusiast who said the Democrat's proposal to confiscate or buy semi-automatic rifles would result in 'war' due to resistance from gun owners, stating 'it would be a short war' because 'the government has nukes.'"
Then Snopes just repeated Swalwell's claim that it was "no more than a joke."
The origins came from Swalwell's opinion column for USA Today where he demanded a ban on "military-style semi-automatic assault weapons," and said the government should buy such guns and prosecute those who wouldn't hand them over.
Snopes explained Swalwell's tweet, with the threat, "was undoubtedly authentic." It added, however, "he quickly clarified that he had intended his reference to nuclear weapons to be a joke."
Fox News' show host Tucker Carlson took up the issue with New York City councilman Jumaane Williams hours later, trying to get an answer to the question of what happens when the government declares something ordinary, like a gun clip, illegal.
Williams repeatedly refused to answer, insisting that such questions be taken off the table.
He insisted to Carlson that people have to start the conversation by admitting that guns are a part of the gun violence problem in the nation, which is, by definition, true, but doesn't address the core dispute over guns, self-defense, a threatening government, and more.
The conversation, which starts about 14 minutes into this video:
Twitchy explained, "Dude ... can we call you dude? Dude, no one thought you were seriously going to nuke gun owners - we're pretty sure as a congressman you don't have the launch codes. But the fact that the idea even crossed your mind, let alone made it into a tweet ... it's mind-blowing. This was not 'faux outrage.'
"What ticked off Second Amendment defenders was that you made their point for them: if a congressman can even suggest nuking American citizens, then yes, there should be a legitimate fear of the government having too much power."
Explained Conservative Review, "It's easy to point out how insane it is that a sitting member of Congress is talking about confiscating the property of American citizens and using nukes against those who don't comply, because it's pretty insane. Whether or not you believe his claims of being facetious is up you.
"But it's also nice to see an anti-gun politician take the mask off for a moment to remind us what the debate about the Second Amendment is really about and why 2A exists in the first place. The talk about gun control is around these mythical 'commonsense' laws that we can put in place that will supposedly make Americans safer through further firearms regulation. 'We don't want to take your guns away,' the argument goes, 'we just want some common sense.'"
But the commentary said whenever "commonsense" policies are suggested, they violate at least one of the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and 14th Amendments. And the plans generally are "completely ignorant" of how guns work.
"This brings us back to the natural end of the gun control movement: bans and confiscation. Utlimately, this is where most anti-gun politicians and professional activists want to end up; those 'commonsense' measures are stepping stones."