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Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The third Democratic primary debate in Houston had little discussion of climate change and energy, but still lent itself to some hot takes.

The big picture: Climate is stitched into the fabric of 2020 now. Beyond the whopping 5 minutes or so of direct discussion, many candidates wove climate into their mini-stump speeches and answers on other topics.

  • Pete Buttigieg hit President Trump for skipping the climate session at the recent G7 meeting as part of a broader foreign policy critique.
  • Joe Biden, in his wide-ranging opening statement, said "I refuse to postpone any longer taking on climate change."

Elizabeth Warren's answer caught my attention. The Massachusetts senator said "we've got to use all the tools" and then went on to say (emphasis added):

  • "One of the tools we need to use are our regulatory tools. I have proposed following [Washington] Governor Inslee, that we, by 2028, cut all carbon emissions from new buildings. By 2030, carbon emissions from cars. And by 2035, all carbon emissions from the manufacture of electricity."
  • But, but, but: All the candidates' plans are a mix of regulations and calls for major new legislation, and achieving those aggressive targets would almost certainly require the latter.

Amy Klobuchar's answer also caught my attention. The Minnesota senator said her background is a plus for confronting the "existential crisis of our time" because ... "I think having someone leading the ticket from the Midwest will allow us to talk about this in a different way and get it done."

On Cory Booker's veganism: The food system is super important to the climate, but come on! They were in Houston, the oil capital of the U.S. Yet there were no questions on fracking — which several candidates want to ban — or on energy more broadly.

  • Why it matters: Energy production and use is by far the biggest carbon emissions source.
  • And the moderators didn't even bother trying to draw out contrasts between the candidates, even though their plans have some real differences.

Go deeper: The takeaways from 2020 Democrats' marathon CNN climate town hall

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and former Sen. Bob Dole at an event put on by the World Food Program where he was awarded the first “McGovern-Dole Leadership Award” in December 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record.

Former Sen. David Perdue to launch bid for Georgia governor

Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

Former Senator David Perdue (R) plans to announce a campaign against Georgia's incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp Monday, according to a source familiar with Perdue's thinking.

Why it matters: Perdue's challenge to his former ally Kemp sets up an unprecedented "scorched earth" battle between Georgia Republicans fueled by former President Donald Trump, in the battleground state. The news was first reported by Politico.

Former Sen. Bob Dole dies

Former Sen. Bob Dole in 2019. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole passed away Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced in a statement.

Driving the news: Dole, a revered figure in U.S. politics and the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, served in the Senate for 27 years, including 11 years as GOP leader. Earlier this year he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.