Democrats trade barbs on health care and immigration in third debate

By Grace Segers, Kathryn Watson

/ CBS News

Health care, immigration and guns dominate third Democratic debate

The 10 leading Democratic candidates focused heavily on health care and gun control Thursday in the first debate where they have all been on the same stage.

There were also a few sharp jabs exchanged by candidates, in particular, when Julián Castro harshly accused Joe Biden of contradicting himself and questioned whether his memory was faltering. "Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago," he asked. He later slammed Biden for embracing his role in the Obama administration only when it was convenient.

Although Biden was targeted the most during the debate for his policies, other candidates chastised Castro for his manner of questioning Biden.

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"This reminds everybody of what they cannot stand about Washington," Buttigieg chided Castro."That's called an election, Pete," Castro retorted.

Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders engaged in a spirited debate about health insurance, which is high on the list of concerns of Democratic voters. Biden's brought up cost. He pitted his $740 billion plan against the "Medicare for All" proposal backed by both Sanders and Warren, which costs a staggering $30 trillion over 10 years. Biden said that neither Sanders nor Warren have adequately explained how they'd pay for their plans.

Warren, when asked again whether middle-class taxes would be raised to pay for her plan, did not directly answer the question. Corporations and the nation's wealthiest individuals would pay more, she claimed, and middle-class families would pay less. "That's how this is going to work," she added.

As far as Sanders was concerned, Biden had understated the cost of Medicare for All. "Status quo over 10 years will be $50 trillion," declared the Vermont independent senator who "wrote the damn bill." But Sanders' vision of of health care would "eliminate all out-of-pocket expenses, all deductibles, all co-payments." And, he added, "Nobody in America will pay more than $200 a year for prescription drugs."

Beto O'Rourke received some of the loudest cheers of the night when he fielded a question on gun control legislation. "Hell yes, we're going to take away your AR-15s, your AK-47s," he exclaimed.

The final question netted some of the most moving moments for the candidates when they asked about resiliency.

The Democratic debate as it happened:

Castro defends debate attack on Biden

1:35 a.m.: In the post-debate spin room, CBS News' Ed O'Keefe pressed Julián Castro on his line of attack against Joe Biden, perhaps the most memorable exchange of the night. Castro had accused Biden of contradicting himself and wondered whether the former vice president's memory was failing him in what appeared to many to be an attack on his age.

"Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago? Are you forgetting already what you said just two minutes ago? I mean, I can't believe that you said two minutes ago that they had to buy in and now you're saying they don't have to buy in," Castro said to Biden. "You're forgetting that."

On stage, Pete Buttigieg scolded Castro. "This reminds everybody of what they cannot stand about Washington. "That's called an election, Pete," Castro retorted.

O'Keefe pointed out that some of Castro's rivals' campaigns called his attack "disqualifying" and a "low blow."

"This wasn't about personalities. This was about a difference in health care policy," Castro argued. He explained that in Detroit, Kamala Harris had said Biden's health care plan would leave 10 million uncovered, and Castro asserted that media fact checkers agreed.

"This was a conversation about why he's denying saying that you would have to 'buy in,'" Castro said. "If you lose your job, you would automatically 'buy in'' and "not everybody can buy into a plan," he told O'Keefe.

Candidates in closing share what resilience means to them

Third Democratic debate wraps up in Houston

11:00 p.m.: In the final question, the candidates were asked what professional setbacks had affected them the most.

After Biden was interrupted by protesters, he spoke about the personal loss of his first wife and daughter.

Warren shared how she, against the odds, completed her education in law school and her career as a teacher.

Sanders answered by saying he can take on the corporate elite.

Harris recounted how she faced naysayers as a female African American attorney general.

Buttigieg remembered wondering if coming out as gay would ruin his career, and how the people of South Bend, Indiana, overwhelmingly reelected him.

Booker spoke about when he took on the political establishment in Newark, an incident that was later turned into a documentary.

Yang recalled how the first business he started failed.

O'Rourke said everything he has learned about resilience, he learned from his hometown of El Paso. He told stories of the strength of the people of El Paso after last month's mass shooting.

Klobuchar talked about her father's struggle with alcoholism, and how she fought to extend hospital stays for mothers and babies after her daughter was born with physical challenges and she was kicked out of the hospital.

Castro said that when he was on the San Antonio City Council, he had to get a job at a law firm and a client wanted him to vote against a law firm. "So, one day, I walked into my law firm and I quit my job. And then I went and I voted against that land deal on the city council," Castro said.

Kathryn Watson

Biden interrupted by protesters just before he talks about deaths of family members

10:26 p.m.: During the final question, two and a half hours into the debate, Biden was interrupted by protesters. After the protesters were cleared from the audience, Biden soberly began discussing personal loss.

The question was about the greatest setbacks in candidates' careers. Biden discussed the loss of his first wife and his daughter in a car accident soon after he was first elected to the Senate, and then of his son Beau from cancer in 2015.

Grace Segers

Biden and Booker on how to end racism in America

10:14 p.m.: Biden, who gave a muddled answer on federal student busing in the first debate, was asked how he would deal with systemic racism in America. The former vice president said the country needs to make sure every young child goes to school, not daycare.

"Play the radio … make sure you have the record player on at night … make sure the kids hear words," Biden said. Kids coming from lower-income homes, he suggested, need more exposure to spoken words to increase their chances at academic success. The dated reference to record players, though, prompted quick responses on social media.

Booker, too, was asked about segregation and school districts. The senator from New Jersey said he grew up in a disadvantaged area and has seen the anguish of parents whose children don't have equal opportunities. In Newark, Booker said, the city raised teacher salaries and improved outcomes for students.

Kathryn Watson

Candidates weigh in on education policy

10:07 p.m.: When Yang was questioned on his support for charter schools, he did not directly answer, responding, "I am pro-good school."

Yang then pivoted to talking about his plans for improving early education, saying that it was necessary to pay teachers more and ensure that children have adequate care outside of school.

The moderator noted that Yang had once said that opposing charter schools was like "jumping into bed with teachers' unions."

When asked if she was jumping into bed with teachers' unions, to use Yang's words, Warren said she had a history as a public school teacher.

"I think I'm the only person on this stage who has been a public school teacher," she said. "Money for public schools should stay in public schools."

Sanders and Warren also brought up their support for canceling student loan debt.

Grace Segers or Kathryn Watson

Candidates pressed on what they'd do to fight climate change

10:02 p.m.: Klobuchar explained what she would do on each day of her first week in office to attack climate change.

Warren said the U.S. needs to work on "every front" on climate change, because the planet is "running out of time." The Massachusetts senator said the U.S. needs to attack the problem head on.

Harris accused Republicans of displaying a "lack of courage" on the issue. Climate change was created by human behavior, and humans can do something about it, Harris said. But Harris offered few specifics.

Kathryn Watson

Booker is asked whether everyone should adopt his vegan diet

9:58 p.m.: Moderator Jorge Ramos asked Booker whether it would be helpful for all Americans to adopt the senator's famous vegan diet to help combat climate change.

"I want to say 'no.' I actually want to translate that into Spanish: 'No,'" Booker said, to laughs. He said the environmental effects could be combated through regulation, not through mass adoption of veganism.

Grace Segers

Sanders pressed on differences between his brand of socialism and that of Venezuela

9:54 p.m.: Sanders, who identifies himself as a democratic socialist, was asked how his brand of socialism differs from that of Venezuela and Nicaragua. Sanders insisted the leaders of Venezuela and Nicaragua are dictators.

"To equate what goes on in Venezuela with what I believe is extremely unfair," Sanders responded.

The senator from Vermont said he prefers systems similar to those in Canada or Scandinavian countries. His idea of democratic socialism, Sanders said, guarantees citizens benefits like universal health care.

Kathryn Watson

Speaking time per candidate at debate midway point

9:50 p.m.: As of the midway point, Joe Biden had the most speaking time so far — and the most questions and rebuttals. Here is a breakdown of the speaking times so far:

Candidates' speaking time

Questions

Rebuttals

Caroline Linton

Biden defends failure to pull troops from Afghanistan and Iraq

9:49 p.m.: When asked about the Obama administration's failure to bring home troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, despite the campaign promises, Biden said he was opposed to the surge of troops in Iraq while he was vice president.

He also said that it was possible to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

"We don't need those troops there. I would bring them home," Biden said of troops currently stationed in Afghanistan.

However, Biden did say he regretted voting to approve the Iraq War.

"I should have never voted to give Bush the authority to go in and do what he said he was going to do," Biden said.

Sanders then hit Biden for not knowing that the war in Iraq would be a long, protracted conflict.

"I never believed what Cheney and Bush said about Iraq," said Sanders, who voted against the war. "I kind of had the feeling that there would be massive destabilization in that area."

He also noted that he is "the only person up here to have voted against all three of Trump's military budgets."

The U.S. doesn't have to spend $750 billion on the military when we don't even know who the enemy is, Sanders added.

Grace Segers

Candidates discuss how they’d deal with China

9:30 p.m.: In the first foreign policy question of the night, the moderators asked whether candidates would immediately repeal the tariffs against China implemented by President Trump. Yang said that he would not repeal the tariffs "on day one," but would work with China to make a new deal.

"No to repealing the tariffs immediately, but yes to making sure we come to a deal," Yang said.

Buttigieg, asked about relations with China, recalled how Mr. Trump once tried to mock him. "[He] said he'd like to see me making a deal with Xi Jinping. I'd like to see him making a deal with Xi Jinping," Buttigieg quipped.

Klobuchar said Mr. Trump had "made a mockery" of foreign trade negotiations, and she warned, "If we're not careful, he's going to bankrupt this country." She said she would go back to the negotiating table with China.

Warren, rather than allowing corporations to have an outsized influence in trade policy, said she would invite unions, human rights activists and environmental advocates to the table. "We can use trade not to undermine American workers … We can use trade to help build a stronger economy," Warren said.

Grace Segers and Kathryn Watson

Biden confronted on deportations during Obama administration

9:11 p.m.: Biden was asked about the three million undocumented immigrants deported during the Obama administration, and specifically whether he was willing to say he had made a mistake by not preventing those deportations.

"Comparing this president to [President Obama] is outrageous," Biden said. He said that the Obama administration did not separate families at the border and praised him for implementing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

"I'm proud to have served with him," Biden said of Mr. Obama.

Biden deflected when asked again whether he was willing to say he made a mistake.

"The president did the best thing that was able to be done at the time," Biden said. He added "I'm the vice president of the United States."

Castro criticized Biden for the second time of the night, accusing the former vice president of only touting his time in the Obama administration when it was convenient for him.

"He wants to take credit for Obama's work but not have to answer any questions," Castro said.

"I stand with Barack Obama all eight years. Good, bad and indifferent. That's where I stand," Biden rejoined.

Grace Segers

Sanders and Warren weigh in on eliminating the filibuster

9:09 p.m.: Warren, who has been a senator since 2012, noted she supports eliminating the filibuster rule. The Senate filibuster requires the support of 60 senators to move legislation forward. Dispensing with the filibuster would, in essence, mean that legislation could be passed in the Senate with a simple majority vote of 51 senators. If there are not 60 votes to support moving forward with a bill, it will fail. The filibuster, Warren suggested, is the reason for congressional inaction on guns.

"If we don't roll back the filibuster, we're not going to get anything done on guns," Warren said.

Sanders, a senator since 2006, begged to differ, saying he does not support ending the filibuster.

Kathryn Watson

O'Rourke on gun control: "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15"

O'Rourke received one of the loudest cheers of the night when he said he supported taking assault weapons away from people.

"Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We're not going to allow them to be used against Americans anymore," O'Rourke said.

Biden praised O'Rourke for his empathetic response to the shooting in El Paso. Harris also praised him, saying, "Beto, God love you."

Biden was asked by a moderator about how he could expect to lead on gun control legislation when the Obama administration failed to achieve meaningful legislation after the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.

"I'm the only one up here who's ever beat the NRA," Biden said, referring to his work getting the Brady Bill signed into law. The bill, passed while Biden was a senator in 1994, mandated federal background checks in the U.S.

Harris challenged Biden about whether some gun control measures could be enacted through an executive order.

"Instead of saying 'No, we can't,' let's say, 'Yes, we can,'" Harris laughed, invoking President Obama's inspirational 2008 campaign slogan.

Grace Segers

Harris pressed on her prosecutorial record that's affected people of color

8:46 p.m.: Harris was pressed by one of the moderators on her record as a former prosecutor who was tough on drug crimes. The moderator asked Harris why she didn't start changing the system when she had the power to.

"There have been many distortions," Harris said of her record.

Harris argued she did attempt to change the system from the inside. Harris emphasized the need to end for-profit prisons, end solitary confinement, and vowed she would accomplish that and more as president.

Klobuchar also had to defend her record as a federal prosecutor in Minnesota, after the moderator asked about the number of black men shot by police during her tenure.

Klobuchar said she "took a stand to make sure outside investigators" handled these cases. She also talked about her efforts to find justice for young black children who were shot and killed during her time as a prosecutor.

Booker noted that he helped with the bipartisan criminal justice bill that passed and the president signed.

Kathryn Watson

O’Rourke says he would sign a slavery reparations bill into law

8:42 p.m.: When asked about the problem of racism in the country, O'Rourke said racism was "endemic" and "foundational." He said the true founding of the country was in August 1619, when the first enslaved African was taken to America against his will.

O'Rourke said he would sign a bill into law to instate reparations for descendants of slaves, mentioning legislation introduced by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas. Jackson Lee has introduced a bill that would study reparations, but not implement them.

O'Rourke also explicitly targeted Mr. Trump, calling him a "white supremacist" who presents a "mortal threat" to people of color.

Booker responded to O'Rourke by saying that while the president was racist, "there is no red badge of courage for calling him that."

Grace Segers

Castro slams Biden over forgetfulness and gets scolded by fellow Democrats on stage

8:36 p.m.: When Castro and Biden got into a heated exchange over health care, Castro suggested repeatedly that Biden had forgotten what he'd just said. "Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago," Castro asked, clearly a jab meant to highlight Biden's gaffes that critics have attributed to his age.

When Castro did not back down, other Democrats said he'd taken things too far.

"This reminds everybody of what they cannot stand about Washington," Buttigieg chided Castro.

"That's called an election, Pete," Castro replied.

Booker chimed in, too. "We've got one shot to make Donald Trump a one-term president," the New Jersey senator said.

Grace Segers and Kathryn Watson

Sanders hits Biden on bankruptcy rates for cancer patients

8:35 p.m.: After being challenged by Biden for the cost of his plan, Sanders said "500,000 Americans are going bankrupt" because of the cost of treating cancer and other diseases. "You've got to defend the fact that 500,000 Americans are going bankrupt," Sanders said.

"I know a lot about cancer and let me tell you something: it's personal," replied Biden. Biden's son Beau died of cancer in 2015. "They will not go bankrupt because of that."

He hit Sanders' plan as being too aspirational, saying, "people need help now, hope now, and do something now."

Grace Segers

Sanders may have written the bill, but "I read the bill," Klobuchar says

8:25 p.m.: Klobuchar said that although Sanders may have written the Medicare for all bill, she actually read the bill. On page 8, Klobuchar noted, "it says that we will no longer have private insurance as we know it." Millions of Americans will lose their own private health insurance, she said.

That put Sanders and Warren on defense. Sanders said Americans are already losing their health care insurance. Buttigieg said he trusts Americans to know what health care insurance is best for them.

"I trust you to choose what makes the most sense for you, not my way or the highway," the Indiana mayor said.

Kathryn Watson

Biden hits Warren, Sanders on Medicare for all

8:18 p.m.: The first question of the debate was to Joe Biden, with moderator George Stephanopoulos asking Biden about Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders' plans to implement "Medicare for all."

"The senator says she's for Bernie. Well, I'm for Barack," Biden said about Warren's support for Medicare for all, alluding to an earlier debate, when Warren said she completely agreed with Sanders on Medicare for all.

Warren praised Obama before pivoting to promoting her own plan.

"We all owe a huge debt to President Obama, who fundamentally transformed health care in America," Warren said, to applause. "Those at the very top…are going to pay more. And middle-class families are going to pay less."

When asked if middle-class taxes will go up to pay for Medicare for all, Warren demurred. "What we're talking about here is what's going to happen in families' pockets," she said. She said costs would go down, but did not explicitly say whether taxes would go up.

For his part, Sanders repeated a popular line from an earlier debate, saying of Medicare for all that he "wrote the damn bill." He also claimed that insurance companies would be advertising against Medicare for all on ABC during the debate.

Biden hit back against Warren, accusing her of not being honest about the cost of Medicare for all for the middle class.

"This is about candor, honesty, big ideas," Biden said. "That's not a bad idea if you don't like it. I don't like it."

Grace Segers

Candidates deliver opening statements, as Andrew Yang announces free money

8:18 p.m.: Julian Castro kicked off opening statements with a greeting in both English and Spanish. "There will be life after Donald Trump," Castro said, calling for a "bold vision."

Amy Klobuchar opened by saying what divides the Democrats on stage is more important than what divides them.

"Houston, we have a problem," she said, noting the president would "rather lie than lead."

Beto O'Rourke began by speaking about the El Paso shooting. That day revealed how "dangerous" the president is, O'Rourke said. It also revealed how "insufficient" today's Washington is to address the country's real problems.

Cory Booker emphasized the need to "unite America in common cause and common purpose."

The audience cheered Andrew Yang when his name was called. Yang, who is campaigning on giving every American $1,000 a year, announced he'll be giving $1,000 a month for a year to 10 American families.

Kamala Harris opened by saying she has a few words for President Trump, accusing the president of spending the last two years trying to "sow hate and division among us."

Bernie Sanders opened by saying the Democrats must and will defeat Mr. Trump.

Elizabeth Warren repeated a story she's used many times before, about how she only made it in life because of her family.

Joe Biden said he will refuse to postpone curing cancer, universal pre-K, and addressing climate change, among other needs.

Kathryn Watson

Yang promises to give $120,000 to 10 families over the next year

8:05 p.m.: In his opening statement, Yang promised to do something "unprecedented": Advertising his plan to give every American $1,000 a year if elected, he announced he'll be giving $1,000 a month for a year to 10 American families –$120,000 in total.

Yang's announcement was met with loud cheers from the audience, and with bemused laughter from other candidates on stage.

"It's original, I'll give you that," Buttigieg, whose opening statement followed Yang's, noted wryly.

Grace Segers

Texas is "firmly in play" says O'Rourke's campaign manager

Democrats focus on Texas as a battleground state

7:48 p.m. Beto O'Rourke's campaign manager thinks that Texas could go blue in 2020, she told CBS News' Caitlin Huey-Burns before the debate.

"This idea that Texas is not in play, or it's not in play in the general election, is not true," said Jen O'Malley Dillon. "We believe it is firmly in play, and Beto is the best candidate to get the 38 electoral votes in the general election."

Dillon also talked about O'Rourke's advocacy of gun control in the wake of a spate of mass shootings, including one in his hometown of El Paso last month.

"I think that Democrats, independents, all voters are looking for their leaders to stand up on this. For us, we believe this a critical issue. We don't have to wait until Donald Trump is defeated. We can actually do something about it now," she said.

Grace Segers

How did the candidates qualify for the debate?

Candidates had to reach at least 2% support in at least four polls, which could be national polls or polls in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada. Candidates also had to receive donations from at least 130,000 unique donors, with 400 donors per state in at least 20 states.

The Democratic National Committee will hold its fourth primary debate on October 15 and 16 in Ohio. Since more than 10 candidates have qualified for the October debate, the debate will take place over two nights.

Campaigns will have until 11:59 p.m. ET on October 1 to meet donor and polling thresholds to qualify. The thresholds are the same as those for tonight's debate, meaning that a candidate who did not meet the requirements for the September debate can still make it onto the debate stage in October .

Trump thinks Democratic primary race is between Warren, Biden and Sanders

President Trump put on his political pundit hat hours before the third Democratic presidential debate in Houston and said he thinks the crowded Democratic primary race is now a three-person contest between Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Before heading to Baltimore to attend a retreat for House Republicans, the president told reporters at the White House that he doesn't expect much to change after the debate, since a top tier has already emerged.

"I don't expect too much difference," he told reporters on the White House south lawn when asked about Thursday's debate. "I mean you have three people that are leading. I sort of think that those three people are going take it to the end it's going to be one of those three."

Asked about the candidate he believes can mount the most formidable challenge to his reelection bid, Mr. Trump largely demurred, offering an unusual diplomatic answer.

"They all have their weaknesses and their strengths," he said, before reiterating that he expects to face either Warren, Biden or Sanders in the general election.

Kamala Harris bringing DACA recipients as guests to debate

California DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients will be accompanying Kamala Harris to Thursday night's debate in a move that the Harris campaign says is "critical" to acknowledge as the Trump administration continues to strip away protections for immigrants in the U.S.

"As a child of immigrants and a fierce advocate for our country's Dreamers, I will not stop fighting until our immigrant communities get the protection and respect they deserve," Harris said in a statement before the debate.

Senator Harris will be joined by Jung Woo Kim and Eric Yang, two young DACA recipients from Southern California.

"When DACA was under threat in 2017, I remember seeing Senator Harris speak in support of undocumented young people at a UCI rally for the DREAM Act. By giving us a national platform to speak on issues that are important to our people, it's clear that Senator Harris is still a champion for our community," Kim said in a statement.

"I want everyone watching the debate to know about the danger that DACA is in and hear the stories of people like me who will be impacted if the Supreme Court takes it away. I ask that everyone who shows up to the debate also show up for immigrant youth," echoed Yang.

Why voters aren't considering certain candidates

According to the latest CBS News polling of early primary and caucus states, the top three candidates — Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders — are each being considered by at least about half of Democratic likely voters. But for all the other candidates, fewer than half of voters are considering them.

After voters told us which candidates they are considering, we randomly presented one of the candidates not under consideration and asked them to choose from a list of reasons why they weren't considering the candidate (voters could pick more than one).

The main reason voters gave for not considering a candidate was that they just hadn't heard enough about them yet. Voters say this half the time.

The next most common reasons given were that the candidate "can't defeat Donald Trump" (31%) — perhaps unsurprising, given that Democrats have been prioritizing electability — and that they are "not prepared to be president yet" (26%).

Less common reasons were disagreeing with the candidate's ideas (15%) and concern that the candidate would take the party in the wrong direction (12%).

Read more about this poll here.

Kabir Khanna

Harris reflects on time at Howard ahead of debate at an HBCU

The only Democratic candidate educated at a historically black college will have an opportunity to debate at at an HBCU Thursday evening when the field takes the stage for the third presidential debate, at Texas Southern University in Houston. Harris, who graduated from Howard University, cherished her time there and that was a message she wanted to convey to TSU's students.

She took out a full-page ad in the student newspaper and wrote the students an open letter about her experience at Howard, which she ranked as one of the two things that had a "profound impact" on her life, just behind her mother and her family.

"I'll always remember freshman orientation," Harris recalled, "walking into the auditorium and seeing hundreds of people — and everyone looked like me."

To attend an HBCU is, she said, to be "constantly reminded you are young, gifted and Black." And that experience, she suggested, prepared her for spending "my career in rooms where I was the only one who looked like me. I know how important it is to center our voices in the conversation as we build an America we can all see ourselves in."

Read more about Harris' time at an HBCU, and how it shaped her, here.

LaCrai Mitchell and Stephanie Ramirez

Trump campaign flies anti-Socialism banner ahead of debate

The Trump campaign is flying a 4,800 square-foot aerial banner above the Democratic debate site in Houston on Thursday. The campaign is also running full-page ads in the area's top newspapers — both read "Socialism will kill Houston's economy. Vote Trump 2020"

Hey Houston, look up! #SocialismSucks #Trump2020 pic.twitter.com/7ZRIPgQNl5

— Brad Parscale (@parscale) September 12, 2019

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted a video of the banner being flown by a prop plane in the Texas sky, telling supporters "Hey Houston, look up!" He added the hashtag "Socialism Sucks."

The president and his campaign have tried to frame all of the Democratic candidates as representative of some brand of socialism, an argument they hope will help them secure victory in next year's presidential election.

Which candidates are in the debate?

Candidates will appear onstage from left to right.

Who didn't qualify for the debate?

Here's a look at who didn't make the cut to appear on stage Thursday night

What to look for

Biden, who is the front-runner in most polls, has been targeted by other candidates for his record on issues of race and criminal justice. Kamala Harris challenged him in the first debate for his opposition to federally-mandated busing in the 1970s, and by Cory Booker in the second for his vote on a crime bill in the 1990s which disproportionately affected black Americans.

Thursday could shape up to be a test of whether the former vice president can fend off attacks on a political career that spans 40 years. Off stage and years ago Warren famously sparred with Biden before she was elected senator for supporting a bill making it more difficult for individuals to declare bankruptcy.

But candidates may also go after Warren, who has been rising in the polls, and Bernie Sanders for their support for single payer health care. In earlier debates, Warren and Sanders were targets for moderate candidates who argued that their positions were too extreme. However, several of those candidates did not meet the DNC's threshold to appear on stage Thursday.

How to watch the third 2020 Democratic debate

First published on September 12, 2019 / 2:00 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Grace Segers grace-headshot.jpg

Grace Segers is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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Irish ambassador says U.S. must protect Northern Ireland's peace deal

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40M ago unnamed-1.jpg protest-fred-hartman-bridge-9e52922c-683c-406b-b8ae-e2f81fadf54b-750x422.jpg

Greenpeace protesters who dangled from bridge arrested

11 who rappelled were taken into custody by firefighters who did same thing to reach them on day of third Democratic presidential debate in Houston

1H ago protest-fred-hartman-bridge-9e52922c-683c-406b-b8ae-e2f81fadf54b-750x422.jpg Democratic Presidential Candidates Participate In Third Debate In Houston

Texas lawmaker tweets at O'Rourke: My AR-15 "is ready for you"

O'Rourke called tweet, which came during Democratic debate, a death threat, and Twitter later removed it, saying it broke site's rules on threats and violence

3H ago Democratic Presidential Candidates Participate In Third Debate In Houston Election 2020 Debate

Sanders distances himself on socialism from Venezuela's Maduro

"To equate what goes on in Venezuela to what I believe is extremely unfair," he said of differences between his politics and those of leftist Latin American regimes

5H ago Election 2020 Debate cbsn-fusion-third-democratic-debate-wraps-up-in-houston-thumbnail-343509-640x360.jpg

Castro defends debate attack on Biden: "I proved my point"

"Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?" Castro said to Biden at the debate

5H ago cbsn-fusion-third-democratic-debate-wraps-up-in-houston-thumbnail-343509-640x360.jpg gettyimages-634980016.jpg

Singer Adele files for divorce from husband Simon Konecki

The singer, who had been married to Konecki for two years, previously announced she had separated from him in April​

7H ago gettyimages-634980016.jpg The 2005 South By South West Music Festival

Daniel Johnston, Austin singer-songwriting icon, dies at 58

"The Devil and Daniel Johnston" filmmaker Jeff Feuerzeig called him "the greatest songwriter of my generation"

11H ago The 2005 South By South West Music Festival a-life-in-movies-cover-abrams-irwin-winkler-promo.jpg

Book excerpt: Irwin Winkler's "A Life in Movies"

The Oscar-winning producer writes about how Martin Scorsese's classic "Raging Bull" made it to the screen

13H ago a-life-in-movies-cover-abrams-irwin-winkler-promo.jpg R Kelly Returns To Court For Hearing On Aggravated Sexual Abuse Charges

R. Kelly a no-show in Minnesota court on solicitation charge

The 52-year-old was a no-show for a case in which he's accused of offering a teen girl money to strip and dance for him in 2001

11H ago R Kelly Returns To Court For Hearing On Aggravated Sexual Abuse Charges 457718068.jpg

"The Situation" released from federal prison

Sorrentino's castmates recently tried to "free Sitch" early by going to lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

13H ago 457718068.jpg Apple iPhone 11

Apple reveals updated iPhones, watch and Apple TV series

The company's annual product event comes as it's selling fewer and fewer iPhones

Sep 10 Apple iPhone 11 istock88471337large.jpg

Startup can mine people's data from LinkedIn profiles

Company called HiQ Labs wins court OK to scrape profiles on LinkedIn for data about people's lives and connections

Sep 9 istock88471337large.jpg The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London

48 states launch antitrust investigation into Google

From search to ads to data mining, "an ecosystem where people's whole internet experience is mediated through Google"

Sep 10 The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London FRANCE-POLITICS-TECHNOLOGY-FACEBOOK

Zuckerberg declines again to testify to international panel

It's the third time the Facebook CEO has refused an invitation to appear before a gathering of global lawmakers investigating disinformation

Sep 9 FRANCE-POLITICS-TECHNOLOGY-FACEBOOK Cordless white headphones in the air on a blue background.

Lost AirPods cost consumers more than half a billion dollars annually

Now hear this: Apple's AirPod sales could exceed $10 billion this year, with 5% to 7% of sales to replace lost ear buds

Sep 6 Cordless white headphones in the air on a blue background. protest-fred-hartman-bridge-9e52922c-683c-406b-b8ae-e2f81fadf54b-750x422.jpg

Protesters dangle from Houston bridge and close part of shipping channel

Sheriff's deputies said at a morning press conference that they would not attempt to force a rescue

16H ago protest-fred-hartman-bridge-9e52922c-683c-406b-b8ae-e2f81fadf54b-750x422.jpg Trump

NOAA scientist rips "political" backing of Trump's Dorian claims

Craig McLean, NOAA's acting chief scientist, wrote an email to colleagues that called the agency's response "political"

Sep 9 Trump Hurricane Dorian's damage at Equinor's South Riding Point oil storage facility is seen from an aerial view over Grand Bahama, Bahamas, September 7, 2019.

Company pledges to clean up oil from facility damaged by Dorian

Norwegian-based Equinor says it was unclear how big the spill was at its oil terminal on Grand Bahama

Sep 8 Hurricane Dorian's damage at Equinor's South Riding Point oil storage facility is seen from an aerial view over Grand Bahama, Bahamas, September 7, 2019. beaver-judith-lehmberg-teeth-4500-promo-top.jpg

Nature up close: Beavers, the master engineers

A keystone species for animals and plants, beavers are crafty builders who continually reshape parts of Wyoming's Snake River

Sep 7 beaver-judith-lehmberg-teeth-4500-promo-top.jpg screen-shot-2019-09-06-at-10-31-10-am.png

New species of dinosaur discovered in Japan

The discovery is the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in the country

Sep 6 screen-shot-2019-09-06-at-10-31-10-am.png E Cigarettes Industry Lawsuit

CDC revises down number of vaping-related illnesses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state officials have been investigating an outbreak that began materializing in the Midwest in July

9H ago E Cigarettes Industry Lawsuit New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills

Rob Gronkowski on player safety and possible return to NFL

The three-time Super Bowl champ sat down with CBSN to talk about his future and the safety of football

10H ago New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills 0912-ctm-trumpvaping-reid-1931933-640x360.jpg

Crackdown on flavored vaping products unlikely to take effect soon

"There'll be legal challenges, 'cause this is a big market," one expert said

12H ago 0912-ctm-trumpvaping-reid-1931933-640x360.jpg gettyimages-506748274.jpg

Mosquitoes carrying rare, deadly virus found in Connecticut

Health officials in Connecticut are warning residents across the state about a mosquito-borne virus that can cause potentially fatal brain infections and has no treatment

20H ago gettyimages-506748274.jpg nfa-oliver-sperm-donor-mixup-needs-tracks-and-gfx-frame-762.jpg

White couple gives birth to Asian daughter after alleged sperm mix-up

The clinic is being ordered to turn over a list of sperm donors

23H ago nfa-oliver-sperm-donor-mixup-needs-tracks-and-gfx-frame-762.jpg U.S.Treasury To Insure Money Market Mutual Funds

U.S. budget deficit surpasses $1 trillion

Gap between what the government spends and how much money it takes in reaches highest level since 2012

13H ago U.S.Treasury To Insure Money Market Mutual Funds about-publix-store-front-306x150.jpg

Publix asks customers not to openly carry guns in its stores

A growing number of big retail chains are requesting that customers leave their firearms behind

17H ago about-publix-store-front-306x150.jpg BP Capitol founder T. Boone Pickens participates in a debate on U.S. energy policy at the National Press Club in Washington on April 19, 2011.

Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens has died at age 91

After making his fortune drilling for oil, the business magnate championed renewable energy including wind power

Sep 11 BP Capitol founder T. Boone Pickens participates in a debate on U.S. energy policy at the National Press Club in Washington on April 19, 2011. starkist-headquarters-pitttsburgh-1018.jpg

StarKist to pay $100 million fine in tuna price-fixing case

The company pleaded guilty to colluding with other tuna packers to keep prices artificially high

Sep 11 starkist-headquarters-pitttsburgh-1018.jpg PURDUE PHARMA

Purdue Pharma reaches tentative deal to settle opioid lawsuits

Arizona's attorney general said the tentative deal "was the quickest and surest way to get immediate relief" for communities devastated by the opioid epidemic

Sep 11 PURDUE PHARMA brooke-skylar-richardson-remains-found-2017-7-22.jpg

Mixed verdict for young woman accused of killing, burying newborn

Young Ohio woman faces up to one year in prison, but could get probation since she's a first-time offender

13H ago brooke-skylar-richardson-remains-found-2017-7-22.jpg Controversy Continues Over Proposed Ban On Certain AR-15 Bullets

In epidemic of mass shootings, ammo makers dodge blame

Unlike firearms manufacturers, ammo makers have largely escaped public scrutiny for gun violence — that may be changing

14H ago Controversy Continues Over Proposed Ban On Certain AR-15 Bullets R Kelly Returns To Court For Hearing On Aggravated Sexual Abuse Charges

R. Kelly a no-show in Minnesota court on solicitation charge

The 52-year-old was a no-show for a case in which he's accused of offering a teen girl money to strip and dance for him in 2001

11H ago R Kelly Returns To Court For Hearing On Aggravated Sexual Abuse Charges cbsn-fusion-reality-tv-star-mike-the-situation-sorrentino-released-prison-2019-09-12-thumbnail-343259-640x360.jpg

"The Situation" released from federal prison

The "Jersey Shore" cast's latest "situation" is that their pal and former housemate Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino has been released from prison. The reality TV star left the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York, on Thursday after serving an eight month sentence for pleading guilty to tax evasion. CBSN New York reports.

13H ago 00:30 cbsn-fusion-reality-tv-star-mike-the-situation-sorrentino-released-prison-2019-09-12-thumbnail-343259-640x360.jpg 22 Dead And 26 Injured In Mass Shooting At Shopping Center In El Paso

Alleged El Paso shooter indicted on capital murder charges

Federal prosecutors have said they are weighing hate-crime charges that could also carry the death penalty

15H ago 22 Dead And 26 Injured In Mass Shooting At Shopping Center In El Paso 091019-fire1.jpg

Fire delays rocket launch to the International Space Station

It's not yet known when the HTV-8 cargo ship will be launched to the International Space Station

Sep 10 091019-fire1.jpg Harvest Moon

Friday the 13th to get full Harvest Moon

Lucky us – the rare occurrence hasn't happened in 19 years

Sep 10 Harvest Moon cbsn-fusion-india-loses-communication-with-lunar-lander-thumbnail-1928725-640x360.jpg

India fails to land on the moon

India hoped to become the fourth nation to soft-land on the moon with their Chandrayaan-2 space mission. But their space agency, ISRO, lost communication with their lander just before the mission was complete. CBS News Space Consultant Bill Harwood joins CBSN to discuss the apparent failure.

8H ago 05:43 cbsn-fusion-india-loses-communication-with-lunar-lander-thumbnail-1928725-640x360.jpg 090619-landing2.jpg

Indian spacecraft apparently crashes in moon landing attempt

India seeks to join the U.S., Russia and China as the only countries to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon

Sep 6 090619-landing2.jpg cbsn-fusion-president-trump-announces-the-u-s-space-command-is-open-as-part-of-an-approach-to-better-defend-american.jpg

Trump launches U.S. Space Command

President Trump held a Rose Garden event to commemorate the establishment of the U.S. Space Command Thursday, as the president pushes for the creation of his sixth branch of the military, the Space Force. CBS News' Bofta Yimam reports.

Aug 29 01:53 cbsn-fusion-president-trump-announces-the-u-s-space-command-is-open-as-part-of-an-approach-to-better-defend-american.jpg robert-frank-the-americans-trolley-new-orleans-1955-nga-promo-660.jpg

Photographer Robert Frank 1924-2019

A look back at the work of one of the most influential of photographers who created intimate, moody portraits of an America struggling to define itself in a post-war world

Sep 10 19 photos robert-frank-the-americans-trolley-new-orleans-1955-nga-promo-660.jpg Damage at the Abaco Beach Resort during the eye of  Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour

Photos: Hurricane Dorian's devastation

"Everything's gone! Everything!" one woman said after Dorian slammed into the Bahamas

Sep 6 42 photos Damage at the Abaco Beach Resort during the eye of  Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour raiders.jpg

The most valuable NFL teams in 2019, ranked

Thanks to some pricey TV deals, a relocation, and brand-new stadiums, the NFL has never been more valuable.

Sep 5 40 photos raiders.jpg Washington Redskins v New England Patriots

Highest-paid NFL players in 2019, ranked

These are the NFL superstars who earn the most cash this season

Aug 29 50 photos Washington Redskins v New England Patriots ashleyfallisparents.jpg

Ashley Fallis death: A family's fight for justice

Was the Colorado mother's 2012 death a suicide, as her husband maintains, or was it murder, as her parents insist?

Aug 24 15 photos ashleyfallisparents.jpg 0912-cbsn-thirddemocraticdebate-postshow-1932735-640x360.jpg

Popular

Third Democratic debate's top takeaways

Julián Castro took on Joe Biden, Beto O'Rourke received loud cheers when he said he would take away assault weapons and all the candidates shared personal stories of resiliency. Elaine Quijano hosts CBSN's post-debate panel of Antjuan Seawright, Molly Hooper and Leslie Sanchez while Caitlin Huey-Burns, Ed O'Keefe and Lynda Tran joined from Houston.

2H ago 01:35:27 0912-cbsn-thirddemocraticdebate-postshow-1932735-640x360.jpg 0912-cbsn-rnb-castrodemdeb-1932721-640x360.jpg

Castro defends debate attack on Biden

Julián Castro made a direct jab at frontrunner Joe Biden at the third debate, suggesting "are you forgetting something you said two minutes ago?" In the spin room post-debate, CBS News' Ed O'Keefe pressed Castro on his harsh line of attack against Biden.

5H ago 05:00 0912-cbsn-rnb-castrodemdeb-1932721-640x360.jpg master-drinking-1920x1080-1927508-640x360.jpg

Drinking culture and American kids

On America's college campuses, there are epidemics we talk about and those we don't. When sexual assaults or fraternity hazing deaths make headlines, court cases follow and new rules are enacted, but less attention is paid to an underlying issue – binge drinking culture. CBSN Originals explores how drinking to excess is not only considered normal, but cool, and how for many young people "blacking out" is less a rarity than an every weekend occurrence – with grave consequences.

Sep 5 23:34 master-drinking-1920x1080-1927508-640x360.jpg cbsn-fusion-third-democratic-debate-wraps-up-in-houston-thumbnail-343509-640x360.jpg

Analyzing the third Democratic debate

Julián Castro took on Joe Biden and Beto O'Rourke doubled down on his vow to take assault rifles while health care, immigration and gun control took center stage at the third Democratic debate. CBS News' Ed O'Keefe and Caitlin Huey-Burns and CBSN political analyst Lynda Tran offer their takes on the debate.

6H ago 12:56 cbsn-fusion-third-democratic-debate-wraps-up-in-houston-thumbnail-343509-640x360.jpg 0912-cbsn-austinmayorpeteb-1932695-640x360.jpg

Austin mayor on why he supports Pete Buttigieg

Austin Mayor Steve Adler says he's supporting South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg for president — not the two Democratic candidates from Texas, Julian Castro and Beto O'Rourke. He told CBSN political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns about why he's backing Buttigieg.

8H ago 00:28 0912-cbsn-austinmayorpeteb-1932695-640x360.jpg

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