The field is set. The mics are on — and soon the gloves are off. The first Democratic presidential debate of the 2020 election is underway, and NBC News will bring you real-time news, analysis and fact-checks of (almost) everything the 10 candidates on stage Wednesday night have to say.
Follow live as we kick off Night One of the two-night debate, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo.
Inslee talks about his immigration record
While everyone debated what they would do on immigration, Inslee talked about his record on the issue.
“I’m proud that we passed law that prevents local law enforcement from being turned into many ICE agents,” he said. “I’m proud to be the first governor to stand up to Donald Tump’s heinous Muslim ban. I’m proud to be a person who not only talks about Dreamers, but one of the first to help them get a college education so they can realize their dreams.”
Castro standing out?
I think it’s fair to say that, so far, among the lower-polling candidates, Castro is the only one who seems to be having a moment. Tough exchange with O’Rourke, answers that seem to be garnering positive attention online. Not getting cut off by other candidates or the moderators.
Julián or Beto?
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Julián Castro entered the night with a relatively low profile and slim polling averages. But the former Obama-era HUD secretary’s sharp, forceful comments about immigration could significantly raise his national profile.
Iran questions provide a breather
After fiery and passionate answers on health care and immigration, responses to questions on Iran provide a bit of a breather. There’s broad agreement to get back into Obama’s Iran deal or negotiate a new one, but not much debate otherwise.
Fact check: Would the 2013 immigration bill have lowered the debt?
The last Senate immigration bill “brings the debt down by 158 billion,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said on Wednesday night, referring to the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill that passed the Senate in 2013.
This is mostly true, according to a contemporaneous analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.
To be sure: this number is about the change in deficit, not the overall debt. The debt would have simply risen at a lower pace should the bill have become law.