2020 Dem debate in Houston gets personal; Debate winners and losers; McCabe facing possible criminal charges

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Dem debate in Houston turns into brawl over health care, Obama, socialism – with a ‘low blow’ at Biden’s memory
Long-simmering policy disputes between Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and a slew of other candidates exploded into the open during Thursday night’s Democratic primary debate, as the candidates — often with raised voices — laid bare their fundamental disagreements on “Medicare-for-all,” immigration and more. Intermittent efforts by some candidates to show unity and keep the heat on President Trump repeatedly failed, with most striving instead to score an aggressive debate “moment” onstage in Houston.

Former Vice President Joe Biden responds to a question Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Former Vice President Joe Biden responds to a question Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The clashes settled any questions about whether the top-tier candidates – meeting onstage for the first time, with the addition of Warren – would hold back. Biden seemed mindful that Warren had been surging in recent weeks and went after her directly. But the most heated clashes of the night came between Biden and fellow Obama administration member Castro, who tangled at length in direct and seemingly personal terms. At one point, Castro hammered Biden for claiming that individuals would not be required to buy into his health care plan in order to receive coverage.

“You just said two minutes ago they would have to buy in. Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” Castro asked. Some commentators said Castro’s jab was an improper, thinly veiled reference to Biden’s age. Click here to read more about our top story

From left, presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., are introduced Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, before a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

From left, presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., are introduced Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, before a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Winners and losers in the 2020 Dem Houston debate
According to veteran Democratic pollster and Fox News contributor Doug Schoen, one big winner and two surprise losers emerged from the third Democratic presidential primary debate. In his analysis for Fox News Digital, Schoen says that Joe Biden was the big winner Thursday night. “Ultimately, Biden’s impressive – though not perfect – performance was a much-needed display of strength and preparedness and will likely solidify his frontrunner status,” Schoen writes. The two surprise losers, Schoen says, were Elizabeth Warren for not delivering the kind of knockout performance that observers expected and Sen. Bernie Sanders for not performing well enough Thursday night to surge in the polls and pull ahead of Warren or Biden. Click here to find out who were the other winners and losers from Thursday’s debate.

McCabe faces potential criminal charges as DOJ rejects last-ditch appeal
Andrew McCabe, former deputy and acting FBI director and a current CNN contributor, faces potential criminal prosecution, Fox News has learned, after the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., recommended moving forward with charges Thursday, and the Justice Department rejected a last-minute appeal from McCabe’s lawyers. McCabe appealed the decision all the way up to Jeffrey Rosen, the deputy attorney general, but he rejected that request, according to a person familiar with the situation. The potential charges relate to the DOJ inspector general’s findings against him regarding misleading statements concerning a Hillary Clinton-related investigation. Gregg Jarrett, Fox News legal analyst, says in an op-ed for Fox News Digital that McCabe faces an imminent – and well-deserved – “reckoning with justice.”

Trump says he would consider ‘interim deal’ with China
President Trump signaled Thursday that he is open to the possibility of an interim agreement to resolve a lingering trade dispute with China until a permanent deal can be reached. “A lot of people are talking about – and I see a lot of analysts are saying – an interim deal, meaning we’ll do pieces of it, the easy ones first, but there’s no easy or hard,” Trump told reporters ahead of his appearance at a congressional retreat in Baltimore. “There’s a deal or there’s not a deal. It’s something we would consider, I guess, but we’re doing very well.” Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and NASDAQ futures each ticked slightly higher on Trump’s remarks.

Amid protests, Trump promises ‘substantial’ middle-class tax cut in Baltimore speech to GOP lawmakers
President Trump told Republican lawmakers Thursday that “sometime this year,” he will announce a “substantial tax cut for middle-income folks who work so hard.” “We are working on a tax cut for the middle-income people that is going to be very, very inspirational,” the president told House Republicans at their annual retreat in Baltimore. “It’s going to be something that — I think it’s what everyone’s really looking for.”

Thursday’s visit marked Trump’s first trip to Baltimore since insulting the city in a series of July tweets, calling it a “disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess.” Protesters gathered outside the Marriott hotel on the Baltimore waterfront with a giant inflatable rat adorned with yellow hair and a red tie in tow.

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#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on “This Day in History.”

SOME PARTING WORDS

Tucker Carlson says “no single person physically embodies the spirit of corruption in Washington, D.C., more perfectly” than former top FBI official Andrew McCabe.

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Fox News First is compiled by Fox News’ Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! Enjoy your day and weekend! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing on Monday morning.

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