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Democratic debate live updates: Candidates spar in October debate in Ohio

NBC News' live blog of the fourth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential election, hosted by CNN and the New York Times, in Westerville, Ohio, on Oct. 15, 2019.
Image: Twelve candidates will take the stage in a Democratic presidential primary debate in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 15, 2019.
Twelve candidates will take the stage in a Democratic presidential primary debate in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 15, 2019.Adrian Lam / NBC News

NBC News' live blog tracked the ups, downs and confrontations of the fourth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential election cycle, co-hosted by CNN and The New York Times.

The largest group of candidates took the stage Tuesday night at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. They included front-runners Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren; Sen. Bernie Sanders, who returned to the campaign after having a heart attack two weeks ago; billionaire activist Tom Steyer, who appeared in his first debate of the cycle; and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who missed the September go-round after failing to qualify.

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Live Blog

Who won the Democratic debate?

The biggest rift between the 12 candidates on stage in Ohio came out once again over health care. But splits were also evident over how far to push for an assault weapons ban and taxes on the wealthy.

Read our take on those had strong performances and those who likely failed to move the needle.

Rivals pile on Warren

The Massachusetts Democrat became the main target of attacks after her recent rise in the polls. Here's how the other candidates went after her.

Beto takes post-debate swipe at Buttigieg

Klobuchar keeps up criticism of Warren post-debate

Klobuchar, who repeatedly went after Warren during Tuesday’s debate, kept up her criticism in the spin room, telling MSNBC that she doesn’t think Warren “should be taking swipes that we don't fight hard enough."

Booker reiterates unity message after debate

In a post-debate interview, Booker reiterated his call for unity in the campaign.

He told NBC News, "this nation needs leaders that can lift us all up. We cannot walk into a general election in a fractured way."

"That's why to me any kind of broad brush painting people, unfair attacks to me are unacceptable," he added. "We need to make sure that we understand that this is not an individual operation. None of us can do it alone. We're going to need each other on that stage to unify behind the nominee."

Fact check: Who gets credit for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

Biden and Warren got into it in the third hour of the debate when the former vice president took some credit for getting Warren’s brainchild — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — passed into law.

"I agreed with the great job she did, and I went on the floor and got you votes. I got votes for that bill. I convinced people to vote for it. So let's get those things straight too," Biden said, earning a steely and careful response from Warren that she was "deeply grateful to President Obama" for getting the agency created.

Before she ran for Senate, Warren conceived of the regulatory agency to police the financial industry in the wake of the economic downturn. It was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was signed into law in 2010.

Biden, who has been criticized for close ties to the banking industry during his decades in the Senate, was undoubtedly supportive of the legislation — it was a key priority of the Obama administration. But both former Sen. Chris Dodd and former Rep. Barney Frank told The New York Times they do not recall the former vice president being a key or significant player in getting Dodd-Frank passed, undercutting his claims here. 

Fact check: Yang exaggerates manufacturing job losses in 2016 swing states

In his closing remarks, Andrew Yang referenced the loss of "4 million manufacturing workers here in Ohio and Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Iowa" as a symptom of the "fourth industrial revolution." 

His figure is way off. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those five states lost a combined 1.09 million manufacturing jobs between the peak of national manufacturing employment, 2000, through October 2016. 

There’s no data on cause, but it's clear Yang's got his numbers wrong. Nationwide, the country lost 4.9 million manufacturing jobs during the same period. 

Castro dings final question

The former housing secretary wasn't pleased with what he heard.

Here's who attacked President Trump in the debate

The Trump Show it was not.

A question about impeachment kicked off the debate, and while President Trump was a presence here and there, by the final hour Trump had all but disappeared from candidate talk.

Tallying 30-plus attacks over the fourth debates three hours, Trump was only attacked seven times in the last sixty minutes, compared with 31 times in the first two hours. Andrew Yang gave (Microsoft search engine) Bing as much grief as he gave Trump.

Here are the numbers on candidate attacks on Trump throughout the fourth Democratic debate.

See the candidate attacks in the fourth Democratic debate, by the numbers.

Here's how the candidates answered that friendship question

A question aimed at a controversy involving Ellen Degeneres and George W. Bush got many groans online, but drew a variety of answers on stage. Asked who they are friends with who are not like them or did not view things as they do, candidates dropped names like John McCain, Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Jim Inhofe. Some candidates chose not to name anyone specifically, however.