Rep. Katie Porter Says She Regrets Calling California Senate Race 'Rigged'

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) said Tuesday she regrets saying the California Senate race she lost was rigged against her ― a comment that landed her in hot water given its echoes of election conspiracy theories.

“Obviously, I wish I had chosen a different word,” Porter said in a Tuesday episode of the podcast “Pod Save America.”

Shortly after it became clear Porter would be eliminated in the March 5 primary, Porter thanked her supporters in a post on X and decried an “onslaught of billionaires spending millions to rig this election.”

Critics quickly pointed out that her comments weren’t dissimilar to Trump’s repeated insistence that the 2020 presidential was rigged against him. Among those to raise concern was Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Cailf.), who’s advancing to the general election. The word “rigged,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” earlier this month, “is a very loaded term in the era of Trump. It connotes fraud or ballot-stuffing.”

Porter said that wasn’t her intention.

“At no time and in no way would I ever suggest that there’s anything other than a careful, thoughtful, amazing election system that actually should be the model for a lot of the country,” she said in the “Pod Save America” interview.

Porter said she was trying to call attention to what she views as problems with laws around election spending.

“Outcomes are manipulated and distorted when you have people coming in spending millions and millions of dollars at the last minute, and that money is not disclosed until after the election,” she said.

Both Porter and Schiff rejected all corporate PAC money for their Senate campaigns, as did other Senate hopeful Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) However, Schiff fundraised more than all his election opponents combined.

He’s advancing to the general election in November, when he’ll face off against Republican Steve Garvey, a former baseball player.