Walz continues media blitz during D.C. tour; insists he’s not prepping presidential run

The Democratic governor was a guest at a White House state dinner and took a turn with national media praising Minnesota as an abortion oasis of the Upper Midwest.

Gov. Tim Walz meets with members of the Biden administration during a trip to the White House this week. (Melissa Hortman/Twitter)

Gov. Tim Walz continues to tour the national media landscape to tout the legislative accomplishments of Minnesota’s DFL “trifecta.”

On Thursday he took that victory tour to Washington D.C. as President Joe Biden invited Walz to the White House to celebrate the Minnesota legislature’s passage of a Paid Family and Medical Leave Act. It was Walz’s second trip to the national Capitol this month.

The former southern Minnesota congressman, along with Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and Democrat legislators Melissa HortmanAlice Mann and Kari Dziedzic made a public appearance at the White House Thursday where they were honored by the Biden administration’s Gender Policy Council.

Later that evening Walz and his wife Gwen were invited guests to attend White House State Dinner for India Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Other guests at the state dinner with Minnesota ties include Bob Pohlad and his wife Rebecca and Sen. Amy Klobuchar and her husband John Bessler.

Governor brags up abortion access, rebate checks and universal school meals

Earlier on Thursday Walz participated in a live interview with MSNBC where he was praised by Mika Brzezinski for the Democrat-controlled legislature’s work to make Minnesota the “first state to codify abortion rights” since the United States Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision one year ago that overturned Roe v. Wade.

“Tell us more about your state and how its handling abortion access and are you finding more women are coming to your state to get that health care,” Brzezinski asked Walz during the interview on “The Morning Joe” program.

“Unfortunately, they are traveling from across the country,” Walz said, “and we have the radical notion that we trust women to make their own healthcare decisions.”

Walz described the new “patchwork” of state abortion restrictions across the country in a post-Roe landscape as “horrific.”

“In the neighborhood where I’m at, states all around me have the strictest abortion laws in the country,” Walz said, “six-week abortion bans, no exceptions. And so I think it’s important to get the story out there that there are states making moves. And in Minnesota we are going to continue to expand freedoms, we are going to continue to make that a priority.”

Walz also continues to market his message that his “One Minnesota” agenda is on the path to make Minnesota “the best state to raise a family.”

“….Whether that’s sending back rebate checks, which we are going to do, reducing taxes on the middle class, making sure we are making childcare more affordable,” Walz said. “We made free breakfasts and lunch for all students in schools. And I know people say, ‘Well, lower income students (already) got that.’ Those are a challenge for folks making $80,000 to $90,000 a year. And sending back a little bit of money in the form of (rebate) checks, especially in time before school gets back this fall.”

“The Republicans have absolutely no agenda other than the restriction of rights, the collapsing of set precedents, and then bringing fear in,” Walz continued. “In Minnesota, we are saying that’s not gonna happen. Whether it’s abortion, whether it’s book banning, it’s not gonna stand.”

Walz insists he’s not prepping presidential run

Later in the day Walz was interviewed by NBC News, and was asked whether he was setting himself up to run for president if, for some reason, Biden wasn’t running.

“I had a really great chief of staff in my congressional office who always told me: ‘Don’t turn down a job you haven’t been asked (to do),’” Walz told NBC reporters Ben Kamisar and Bridget Bowman in a sit-down interview with D.C. media correspondents. “I’m certainly not running for that, but I certainly like taking this message out. … My goal right now is to tout Minnesota’s successes and to support President Biden.”

Walz was also asked to compare his marketing of Democrat legislative accomplishments in Minnesota to that of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running for president and often touts Republican legislative successes making Florida a leading place for people to migrate to from other states.

“Like no time in my lifetime, the choice in states you could pick could not be greater,” Walz said in the NBC interview. “Folks don’t really care about the woke corporation fights, they care about the roads and water treatment plants.”


Hank Long

Hank Long is a journalism and communications professional whose writing career includes coverage of the Minnesota legislature, city and county governments and the commercial real estate industry. Hank received his undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota, where he studied journalism, and his law degree at the University of St. Thomas. The Minnesota native lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and four children. His dream is to be around when the Vikings win the Super Bowl.