Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden opened the Democratic debate on Friday night by reiterating that while Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg came out on top in the Iowa caucus, they will face problems down the 2020 road.

Thought bubble... Per Axios' Alayna Treene: Biden is playing straight to voters biggest concern with his answer to the first question: Which candidate can best take on Trump on the debate stage and beat him in the general election? Biden says Trump will label Sanders as a socialist, and given the fact that he is one, Republicans will eat him alive

"In regards to Sen. Sanders, the president wants very much to stick a label on every candidate. We're going to have to not only win this time, we're going to have to win the Senate. Bernie has labeled himself, not me, a Democratic socialist. That's the label that's going to weigh on everybody's mind with Bernie if he's a nominee."
"And Mayor Buttigieg is a great guy, and you're a patriot. He's the mayor of a small city who has done some good things, but has not demonstrated his ability to —and we'll soon find out— to get a broad scope of support across the spectrum including African Americans and Latinos."

Go deeper: Buttigieg responds to Biden's electability criticism

Go deeper

Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

Roger Stone arriving at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 12,389,660 — Total deaths: 557,279 — Total recoveries — 6,830,596Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 3,169,611 — Total deaths: 133,885 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: The reality of the coronavirus bites.
  4. Trade: Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China because the pandemic damaged the two countries' relationship.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.