5 key takeaways from the Democratic debate

Thursday night’s Democratic primary debate was the first to bring all of the top contenders together on one stage. Former Vice President Joe Biden, still leading in most polling, was flanked by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the candidates who have established themselves as his closest competitors. The ABC and Univision moderators were happy to let the candidates spar on health care, national security and trade, although the topics of the federal judiciary and abortion didn’t come up over the course of the evening.

Here are five key takeaways from the three hours in Houston.

1. Biden still under fire

The polling leader had moments when he appeared to stumble in the previous two debates and Thursday night was no different. He had an odd interjection when discussing health care with Sanders, stating “This is America” when the socialist senator from Vermont cited the United States’ high health care costs compared to Canada. He said the Obama administration never held immigrant children behind fences nor separated families, both statements that are untrue. Julián Castro needled Biden repeatedly, charging the former vice president “wants to take credit for Obama’s work but doesn’t want to answer questions.” Biden misspoke in saying nonviolent crimes shouldn’t result in jail time, which an aide corrected during the debate to say he meant nonviolent drug crimes.

Near the end of the debate, Biden answered a question about the legacy of slavery and segregation with a rambling discourse that touched on mortgage policies, teacher salaries, parental responsibility and circled around to Venezuela.

Biden: “Well, they have to deal with — look, there’s institutional segregation in this country. And from the time I got involved, I started dealing with that. Redlining, banks, making sure we are in a position where — look, you talk about education. I propose that what we take is those very poor schools, the Title I schools, triple the amount of money we spend from $15 to $45 billion a year. Give every single teacher a raise to the equal raise of, getting out—the $60,000 level. Number two, make sure that we bring in to help the teachers deal with the problems that come from home. The problems that come from home, we need — we have one school psychologist for every 1,500 kids in America today. It’s crazy. The teachers are — I’m married to a teacher, my deceased wife is a teacher. They have every problem coming to them. We have to make sure that every single child does, in fact, have 3, 4 and 5-year-olds go to school. School. Not day care, school. We bring social workers into homes and parents, to help them deal with how to raise their children. It’s not that they don’t want to help, they don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television — excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the phone — make sure that kids hear words, a kid coming from a very poor school — a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time they get there. There’s so much –”

Moderator: “Thank you, Mr. Vice president. “

Biden: “No, I’m going to go like the rest of them do, twice over. OK? Because here’s the deal. The deal is that we’ve got this a little backwards. And by the way, in Venezuela, we should be allowing people to come here from Venezuela. I know Maduro. I’ve confronted Maduro. Number two, you talk about the need to do something in Latin America. I’m the guy that came up with $740 million, to see to it those three countries, in fact, changed their system so people don’t have a chance to leave. You’re all acting like we just discovered this yesterday. Thank you very much.”

“Here in Northville, MI, people weren’t particularly taken aback by the Biden quote on segregation,” wrote BuzzFeed reporter Molly Hensley-Clancy, who was watching with the local Democratic club. “But they started shouting ‘What?!’ as his answer went on, eventually drowning him out in laughter.”

2. Warren cruises

While Biden struggled at times, the senior senator from Massachusetts turned in another brisk performance in the city where she finished her undergraduate degree. Warren was seldom challenged and she deflected the charge that her health-insurance plan would require a middle-class tax increase by criticizing insurance industry profits. Warren also continued her practice of tying policy discussions to her personal history, bringing up her time as a public school teacher when education policy was the topic. In a night that turned contentious at times, she avoided directly criticizing her fellow candidates at length and was second in having the most speaking time, behind only Biden.

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Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden, center, speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami, as from left, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, fSen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., right, and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., gesture during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidates former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speak at the same time during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden greets supporter after the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden, speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg poses with an advocacy group after the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., gestures, during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., left, reaches out to Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., as former Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, walks between them, during a break in the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gestures as he speaks to the media in the spin room after the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden speaks to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during a break at the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, second from right, speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami, as from left, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., listen. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami, as Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., listens. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, center, speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami, as author Marianne Williamson and entrepreneur Andrew Yang listen. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden talks to South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg during a break at the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, left, speaks as former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gesture, during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, left, speaks as former vice president Joe Biden gestures, during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidates former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., former Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., attend during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate entrepreneur Andrew Yang, center, speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami, as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, right, and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, left, listen. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate author Marianne Williamson speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., right, interrupts Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gestures towards Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N,Y., speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, right, speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami, as author Marianne Williamson listens. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate entrepreneur Andrew Yang speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden speaks to South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg during a break in the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden, speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami, as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., listen. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidates, author Marianne Williamson, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., former Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., raise their hands when asked if they would provide healthcare for undocumented immigrants, during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate author Marianne Williamson speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami, as former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper listens. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidates former vice president Joe Biden, left, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., right, stand on stage for a photo op before the start of the the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., left, former Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., stand on stage before a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., gestures towards New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
From left, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney pose for a photo on stage before the start of a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Democratic presidential candidate former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, third from left, answers a question, during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidates former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney talk at the end of a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., answers questions after a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Democratic presidential candidate former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke gestures during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., second from left, hugs Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., hugs former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro at the end of a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. In between them is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., gestures, during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, shake hands at the end of a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Rep. John Delaney speaks during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidates former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., talk during break at a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, gestures during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, gestures during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidates Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, speak during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., gestures during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami, as Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., listens. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during he Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami, as Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, listens. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., gestures as former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro listens, during s Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Members of the audience react during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro speaks during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, answers a question during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, center, speaks during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami, as Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke listen. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidates Washington Gov. Jay Inslee , left and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney answer a question at the same time during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, center, answers a question, during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miam, as from left, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii, listen. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidate former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, center, speaks at the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami, as Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., listen. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Democratic presidential candidates, from left, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney listen before the start of a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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3. Is Beto back?

Following the mass shooting in El Paso last month, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke returned to his hometown to offer support to victims, and rebooted his struggling presidential campaign with a focus on gun control. And it paid off at the debate in Houston, where O'Rourke delivered a solid performance amid praise from his rivals for his handling of the attack.

O'Rourke was asked if he would stand by his call for a mandatory government buyback program for assault rifles.

“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” the former Texas congressman shouted to cheers from the audience. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”

The O'Rourke campaign blasted out an e-mail to supporters with the subject line: “���Beto so far ���.”

"Beto is standing out in a BIG way — speaking with clarity, honesty, and passion about the epidemic of gun violence," the e-mail read. "Our website traffic is surging, folks on social media are stoked, and we think this could be a big moment."

The campaign even produced a T-shirt to capitalize on his performance.

4. Buttigieg recalls coming out

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the first openly gay presidential candidate in U.S. history. And on Thursday night, Buttigieg spoke about coming out for the first time on a national debate stage.

At the end of the debate, each of the candidates were asked to talk about a moment of resilience.

Buttigieg began his answer by saying that as a military officer serving under the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy and as an elected official in Indiana when Mike Pence was governor, he wondered whether openly acknowledging his sexuality would “be the ultimate career-ending professional setback.”

“I came back from the deployment and realized that you only get to live one life,” Buttigieg recalled. “And I was not interested in not knowing what it was like to be in love any longer, so I just came out.”

Buttigieg came out during his reelection campaign for mayor in 2015. He was reelected with 80 percent of the vote.

“When I trusted voters to judge me based on the job I did for them, they decided to trust me,” he said. “What I learned is that trust can be reciprocated. And part of how you can win and deserve to win is to know what’s worth more to you than winning. And I think that’s what we need in the presidency right now.”'

While it was a first for Buttigieg on the debate stage, the 37-year-old has talked about being gay on the campaign trail, often appearing at rallies with his husband, Chasten Buttigieg (the couple married in 2018).

5. Houston, we have a bad joke problem

On a lighter but not necessarily funnier note, many of the candidates deployed jokes, with varying success. Klobuchar made a “Houston, we have a problem” crack in her opening statement, referencing the NASA drama “Apollo 13.” Yang said he knew a lot of doctors because he was Asian. Booker noted that the translation of “no” into Spanish was “no,” which actually earned some legitimate laughs. Harris attempted to compare Trump to a character from a beloved 1939 film.

“The bottom line is this: Donald Trump, in office on trade policy, you know, he reminds me of that guy in ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ you know, when you pull back the curtain, it's a really small dude?" Harris said, laughing at her own joke.

The guy behind the curtain in “The Wizard of Oz” is ... the Wizard of Oz.

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