Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro and Mayor Bill de Blasio both took aim at former Rep. Beto O'Rourke in Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate, punching above their weight in polling and garnering head-turning exchanges.

Details: Castro, who shares the state of Texas with O'Rourke, took aim at him over decriminalizing undocumented immigration, while de Blasio targeted health care.

  • De Blasio took aim at O'Rourke's flip on a bill to replace private insurance. Previously, O'Rourke backed the bill, but has since said he would not replace private insurance, saying "the choice is fundamental to our ability."
  • De Blasio to Beto: "When you talk about the premiums and the out of pocket expenses, it's not working. How can you defend a system that is not working?" 

Castro attempted to cut off O'Rourke in debate as the congressman spoke about his goals to "spare no expense to reunite those separated already and not criminally prosecute."

  • The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development criticized O'Rourke for not supporting an overhaul of Section 1325 — a provision that criminalizes illegal entry to the United States.
  • "The reason that they are separating these children from their families is they are using section 1325 of that act that criminalizes coming across the courter to incarcerate the parents and separate them. Some of us have called to end that and terminate it, some like Congressman O'Rourke have not, and I want to challenge all of the candidates to do that."

O'Rourke responded that he'd introduced legislation in Congress to ensure asylum seekers are not criminalized, arguing that Castro is looking to address one part of the problem while he was seeking a "comprehensive rewrite."

Go deeper: Beto O’Rourke’s immigration plan

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Americans reflect on Independence Day amid racism reckoning

A Black Lives Matter banner and a United States flag on the facade of the U.S. embassy building in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Simon Shin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

America's leaders are rethinking how they view Independence Day, as the country reckons with the historic, unequal treatment of people of color during a pandemic which has disproportionately affected nonwhite Americans.

Why it matters: The country’s legacy of racism has come into sharp focus in the weeks of protests following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. From Confederate statues to Mount Rushmore, Americans are reexamining the symbols and traditions they elevate and the history behind them.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 11,031,905 — Total deaths: 523,777 — Total recoveries — 5,834,337Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 2,788,395 — Total deaths: 129,306 — Total recoveries: 790,404 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  5. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
8 hours ago - Sports

Washington Redskins to review team name amid public pressure

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins have announced they will be conducting a review of the team's name after mounting pressure from the public and corporate sponsors.

Why it matters: This review is the first formal step the Redskins are taking since the debate surrounding the name first began. It comes after weeks of discussions between the team and the NFL, the team said.