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Candidates on the debate stage. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

The top 10 Democratic presidential candidates took to the stage Thursday night for the third presidential debate, marking the first time the top contenders all appeared on one stage.

What to watch: Julián Castro vs. Joe Biden; Beto O'Rourke on taking away AR-15 rifles, and a couple Biden-specific moments.

1) Julián Castro vs. Joe Biden

Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro went after Vice President Joe Biden and his health care plan during the 2020 Democratic debate, saying, "I'm fulfilling the legacy of Barack Obama and you're not."

Why it matters: Biden, who has been a champion of Obama-era policies throughout his campaign, had to defend himself against criticism and inconsistencies on continuing the Affordable Care Act lobbed by Castro and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

  • Biden did reference his plan earlier in the night, saying that anyone who can't afford gets automatically enrolled in the Medicare type option. 
2) Joe Biden pressed on Obama-era record deportations

Univision's Jorge Ramos pressed Biden on the record number of deportations during the Obama administration, with the former vice president saying "things have changed" since he was in the White House.

Why it matters: Under the Obama administration, Immigration and Custom Enforcement deportations topped 385,000 each year in fiscal years 2009-2011, and hit a high of 409,849 in fiscal 2012. The Trump administration deportations have yet to hit that level. Biden tried to deflect the record with other programs Obama put in place to serve Latino immigrants.

3) Beto O'Rourke: "Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15"

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, whose home town of El Paso is recovering from a mass shooting that targeted Mexicans and left 22 people dead, re-emphasized his stance on buybacks for assault weapons, saying "Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore."

Why it matters: O'Rourke has been focused on integrating gun control measures in his campaign since the El Paso shooting at a Walmart in August.

4) Joe Biden's record-player moment

Asked at Thursday's 2020 Democratic debate about how to repair the legacy of slavery, Biden veered into a reference to home record players.

Why it matters: While record players still have cachet among the hipster set, they faded from most American households decades ago. It's one of those moments that can long outlive an election, like the time George H.W. Bush checked his watch during a 1992 debate.

Go deeper: 5 takeaways from the third Democratic debate

Go deeper

Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.