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2020 candidate Beto O'Rourke acknowledged on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday former Vice President Joe Biden was "a return to the past," emphasizing "that cannot be who we are going forward."

"He is [a return to the past]. And that cannot be who we are going forward. We've got to be bigger. ... You've got to ask yourself where Joe Biden is on the issues that are most important to you. Did he support the war in Iraq that forever destabilized the Middle East? Does he really believe that women of lower incomes should be able to make their own decisions about their own body, to be able to afford health care in order to do that? He supported the Hyde Amendment; he now opposes the Hyde Amendment."
"... I'm not exactly sure what he believes or what he should apologize for. I only know that this country should be able to do far better."

The big picture: Campaign aides told Axios' Alexi McCammond last month that there wasn't a real incentive to attack one another just yet, and that it would be especially unwise if they tried to go after Biden. That has changed for some candidates, including for O'Rourke — who has found himself dropping as low 2% in 2020 polls months after drawing significant media attention at his campaign launch in March.

Go deeper: Beto O'Rourke on the issues, in under 500 words

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

4 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios