Voters know Rep. Katie Porter as the whiteboard-wielding single mom from Orange County who drives a minivan and struggles with the high cost of groceries.
But it’s her hawkish take on the Israeli and Palestinian conflict that has set her apart from her fellow progressive Democratic candidates in the California Senate race.
Porter, who along with fellow House members Barbara Lee and Adam Schiff, are vying for the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat, raised eyebrows over the weekend for suggesting the surprise attack on Israel by Gaza militants was, in part, a result of American inaction in Iran.
She’s built her brand as an unwavering progressive on domestic issues, but the recent comments on the escalating international conflict, and the role of Iran that supports Hamas and Hezbollah fighters, offers a unique insight into her priorities abroad as she runs for higher office.
“There are lost lives in Gaza and there are lost lives in Israel,” she said Sunday at a forum alongside Lee and Schiff. “And it’s because the United States has allowed terrorism to flourish, and it’s refused to take a strong enough stance against Iran, who is backing Hamas and Hezbollah.”
It’s a talking point more often seen among centrists and Republicans (including former President Donald Trump), but Porter has good reason for embracing it. Orange County has the second-largest concentration of Iranian Americans in the country behind Los Angeles County. For years, Porter has been pushing for the federal government to take stronger action against the regime, especially its treatment of women.
It wasn’t clear whether Porter’s comments were aimed directly at the Biden administration, but she’s made no secret of her concerns in the past. Last fall, when the president stopped by Orange County in a rare campaign visit, Porter used the opportunity to hammer home the issue, saying after the trip that she spoke directly to Biden and emphasized his advocacy for Iranian human rights.
The president took up the theme in his remarks to supporters at UC Irvine that same day.
“Iran has to end the violence against its own citizens simply exercising their fundamental rights,” he said, perthe Orange County Register.
Among the leading Democrats, Porter is the least experienced in foreign policy — a critical component of serving in the upper chamber.
When asked about her relative lack of international experience on Sunday, Porter gave a nod to her teaching roots, and said she takes doing her homework “pretty seriously.”
“I don’t think we should want a senator who thinks they know it all,” she said. “We should want senators who are always winning to learn.”
Melanie Mason contributed to this report.
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Original News : https://news.yahoo.com/why-katie-porter-sounds-republican-143618910.html