There was a one-night Democratic debate for the first time this presidential primary season last night (September 12th) in Houston, with just 10 candidates having qualified for the third debate, and the moderate side of the party showed up more, with candidates like Mayor Pete Buttigieg,Senator Amy Klobuchar and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke giving greater pushback against the ideas of the leading liberals,Senator Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, on Medicare for All in particular. But former Vice President Joe Biden, who's been the frontrunner since he entered the race, got the most attacks, notably from former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, who accused Biden of having forgotten something he'd just said about his healthcare plan in a broadside that critics charged was a low blow about his age.
The candidates talked issues including health care, immigration, race, foreign policy,President Trump's tariffs, guns and race. Trump was repeatedly targeted by candidates, more so than during previous debates, with Senator Kamala Harris making mocking comments about the president a few times,Senator Cory Booker calling him a racist, and O'Rourke labeling him a white supremacist.
Castro and Biden:
Castro's attack on Biden may have been the most attention-grabbing moment of the night. While talking about health care, Castro charged that under Biden's plan people who want Medicare would have to "buy in,"or opt-in. Biden responded that wasn't true, and Castro then repeatedly accused the former vice president of having forgotten what he'd just said as Biden defended himself. However, Castro's attack appeared to be off the mark, as Biden had in fact said at least a couple of times before that that people would automatically be enrolled. Some charged that Castro was taken a shot at Biden over his age with the attack about forgetting what he'd said. Castro also went after Biden later in the debate, saying that he wanted to associate himself with former President Barack Obama's policies when they were positive and separate himself from them when they were negative. Biden responded, "I stand with Barack Obama all eight years, good, bad and indifferent."