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

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Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 18,814,178 — Total deaths: 707,754— Total recoveries — 11,361,953Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 4,823,891 — Total deaths: 158,256 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Public health: Florida surpasses 500,000 confirmed casesFauci calls U.S. coronavirus testing delays "totally unacceptable."
  4. Business: America's next housing crisis.
  5. States: Virginia launches contact tracing app using specs from Apple and Google.
  6. Cities: L.A. mayor authorizes utilities shut-off at homes hosting large gatherings
  7. Politics: White House, Democrats remain "trillions of dollars apart" on stimulus talks.
18 mins ago - World

Hiroshima mayor warns of rise of nationalism on 75th anniversary

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) at the Memorial Cenotaph in the Peace Memorial Park during the 75th anniversary service for atomic bomb victims in Hiroshima, Japan, on Thursday. Photo: Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images

Hiroshima's Mayor Kazumi Matsui on Thursday urged the international community to work together to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and warned against an increase in "self-centered nationalism," per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: He said at a remembrance service on the atomic bombing of the Japanese city that the 1918 flu pandemic killed millions as countries fighting in World War I were unable to overcome the threat together, per DPR. "A subsequent upsurge in nationalism led to World War II," he added. The U.S. bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945 and Nagasaki three days later contributed to the end of World War II, but tens of thousands of people died. At the service, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lamented nuclear weapons' "inhumanity," but he didn't mention Japan's wartime past, WashPost noted.

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LeBron James on Trump NBA protest remarks: "We could care less"

The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James kneels during the national anthem before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on Wednesday. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

LeBron James responded on Wednesday night to President Trump's comments calling NBA players "disgraceful" for kneeling during the national anthem to protest racism and that he won't watch games because of the action.

The big picture: Trump has repeatedly criticized sports players for taking the knee since 2016. But James said during a news conference, "I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership, him viewing the game." November's elections marked "a big moment for us as Americans," he said. "If we continue to talk about, 'We want better, we want change,' we have an opportunity to do that," he added. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said the league will "respect peaceful protest."

Go deeper: LeBron James forms voting rights group to inspire Black voters