Gov. Walz on presidential debate: 'Neither candidate had a very good night'

Gov. Tim Walz acknowledged flaws shown during Thursday night's debate between President Biden and former President Trump while at a news conference on the response to flooding in Minnesota

"I think it's clear that neither candidate had a very good night, but President Biden could certainly have performed better," Gov. Tim Walz said. "And President Trump could tell the truth once in a while." 

The first presidential debate of the 2024 election was hosted by CNN in the network's Atlanta studio Thursday night. There was no audience present and both campaigns agreed to having mics be muted during the other candidate's turn to speak. 

"I think it goes back to what we always said, it's about this type of stuff," Walz said, referring to the response to flooding across the state. "It's about the actual work, it's about talking to the president about the flooding, being clearly, situationally aware, having his administrators on the ground and that's what it comes down to. So, a debate is not governing. A debate is campaigning."

Walz continued by saying he would "take a President Biden on his worst day" over President Trump. 

"The president is still delivering," Gov. Walz said. "The governing piece of this is happening. The people surrounding him are doing the work they need to do, and that's what I care about."

You can watch Walz's full comments on the debate in the player above. 

Trump debate claims about Minneapolis National Guard deployment 

Former President Trump also claimed during the debate that he deployed the National Guard during the civil unrest in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd. 

Despite this claim, it was actually Gov. Tim Walz who activated the National Guard. Walz said at the time he was responding to requests from local leaders before he spoke with the White House.