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

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jay Powell bump elbows before House hearing on Tuesday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

47 mins ago - World

Beijing draws Chinese companies even closer

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping announced last week that the party must strengthen its leadership over private companies, and that entrepreneurs must meet the party's needs. 

Why it matters: Xi's new announcement will increase fears that Chinese businesses may serve as a Trojan horse for the CCP.

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