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Can Republicans dig You Tube?

And with a song and smiles, and introductions from Gov. Charlie Crist, the Republicans have started their debate in St. Petersburg. Let us know how you feel about the Republican candidates do during tonight's much-hyped "You Tube" or "People's Debate" as Crist called it. Let us know your thoughts. Put something down in comments.

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Well, that didn't take long. The gloves come off and Rudy Giuliani takes a shot at Mitt Romney. So the first catch phrase of the evening goes to Rudy who said Romney ran a "sanctuary mansion."

Marc Caputo

McCain on immigration: "This whole debate saddens me a little bit." One big reason: When you're explaining that your immigration bill wasn't amnesty, it's a recipe for trouble.

Marc Caputo

Rep. Tom Tancredo: This immigration debate is all about me. He said the debatees were trying to "out-Tancredo Tancredo" on immigration. How do you out-Mitt Mitt?

Marc Caputo

Huckabee justifies bill that would help give kids of illegal immigrants an education, saying "we're a better country" for providing schooling. The crowd applauds. How is this playing in Palatka?

Gary Fineout

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's position on tition breaks for the children of illegal immigration sounds very familiar to the position pushed by Hispanic legislators in the state House who were unable to win a similar benefit for Florida. That break however was killed by the Senate.

Marc Caputo

Ron Paul finally gets a question, gets near-bashed for his supporters' stances against the Council of Foreign Relations, etc. Did anyone one in YouTube land care about the military-industrial complex or a Republican's pacifist views? Nah. Maybe the question's too weird to ask for someone wearing headphones and talking into a webcam.

Marc Caputo

Live for one night only! Actually, make that two nights. John McCain, yet again, busted out his joke about Congress paying to test bear DNA, saying he didn't know if it was a criminal issue or a paternity issue.

Marc Caputo

How do Republicans propose to limit spending? No mention of the defense budget and the war in Iraq. But Ron Paul couldn't talk. And host Anderson Cooper had one statement: Time

Marc Caputo

Fred Thompson supports "re-indexing" Social Security benefits.

Marc Caputo

Is it me, or does Ron Paul not get more time to talk?

Marc Caputo

Are taxes ever fair?

Gary Fineout

Wow. Is there a big Ron Paul crowd in St. Pete? Boos for McCain for attacking Ron Paul.

Marc Caputo

McCain bashes "isolationism" of Paul -- a boo-and cheer-fest ensuing. Hmm. Did Japan attack the U.S. for being isolationist, or due to its proximity to oil routes?

Gary Fineout

Hmm. Didn't think that Grover Norquist needs You Tube in order to ask questions to GOP candidates.

Marc Caputo

Re: Grover Norquist's question about opposing or vetoing tax-increases: Is deficit-spending a de-facto tax increase in the future?

Marc Caputo

Wow. It took 49 minutes to start attacking Hillary.

Marc Caputo

Duncan Hunter's advice: Buy American this Christmas season. Translation: avoid shopping at Target and WalMart

Marc Caputo

Fred Thompson attacks Romney and Huckabee in his newest TV commercial. "I want to give my buddies here extra air time," he says, refusing to explain more. No Giuliani in clip. Is Thompson running for Second Place?

Gary Fineout

Fred Thompson smacks Mitt and Mike again! "What's up with that," asks Anderson Cooper. Well, maybe Fred is showing that in order to make up ground, you have to tear down your opponent.

Marc Caputo

Giuliani gets booed for saying "regulate" and "fire arm" in same sentence.

Marc Caputo

So, our bosses wanted us to blog and get comment from comment-land out there. We said we didn't properly bill/promo this feature, but we'd give it a whirl. Yet it seems we were right. It seems no one else is reading this. How 'bout the honchos. Are they? Maybe they should blog.

A new litmus test for GOP candidates: Do you own a gun?

Marc Caputo

Interesting question from Land-O-Guns Phoenix guy: Shows Giuliani, McCain and Romney don't pack.

Marc Caputo

Romney solution to black-on-black crimes: "More moms and dads." He says 68 percent of black kids are born out of wedlock, then makes a quick recovery when he says better policing is needed.

lesley clark

A punishment for women who undergo abortions?
Paul says it's up to the states, "We don't need a federal abortion police."

lesley clark

Thompson says overturning Roe v Wade says should be the No. 1 priority, suggests penalties should be targeted to docs, "not the girl, the young girl"

Marc Caputo

Thompson: "number one focus" should be abortion. Did I hear that right?

Marc Caputo

Giuliani must be a frontrunner. He not only wouldn't sign abortion ban, but answers a question he isn't asked by saying he wouldn't support criminal sanctions for abortions in first two trimesters.

Marc Caputo

Is Joseph Dearing's question about believing every word in the Bible a Catholic trap? He's holding up a Protestant Bible.

Gary Fineout

Mitt Romeny calls the Bible the "word of God." But the version held up by the questioner was the King James Version, which does not include the Book of Mormon.

Marc Caputo

Giuliani: Bible is not literal truth. Romney stumbles. "Yeah... I believe the Bible is the word of God." Unsaid: He believes that of Book of Mormon as well. Huckabee: Bible is allegorical. And he quotes the words of Jesus in the Beatitudes, rather Moses.

Marc Caputo

There's a touch of the poet in Huckabee

Marc Caputo

Romney to McCain: "I did not say that I was in favor of torture."

Gary Fineout

More boos and catcalls over Iraq and the testy exchange between John McCain and Ron Paul.

lesley clark

Battle of the audience, part 2? CNN took some brickbats previously for an overly active audience at the Democratic debate. This audience is particularly spirited...

Marc Caputo

McCain: "American public opinion" to blame for U.S. loss in Vietnam and we "never lost a battle." Paul fires back with NVA Gen. Nguyễn Văn Thiệu's quote: "It's irrelevant."

lesley clark

Giuliani takes claim for ending Haitian migration to Florida? Calls it a "terrible problem" -- noting that it led to loss of life.

Marc Caputo

It's 9:39 p.m. It's Giuliani time for 9/11 mention.

Marc Caputo

Thompson master of the Reagan self-putdown says "I thought that was me" after seeing a question from a computer-animated Cheney about the powers of the vice presidency.

Gary Fineout

The point of doing this big debate in St. Petersburg was to highlight the state of Florida. But so far, I'm not sure a single question has come from someone in Florida. Plus, we have not heard any questions that deal with the Florida issues that GOP lawmakers say would be answered by moving up the primary to Jan. 29th. And beyond that, the hard line on immigration could in fact hurt some candidates in Florida.

sm

Can you give some feedback on Andy Garcia's debate skills? Break the silence on this important topic, please.

Marc Caputo

Oops. The danger of blogging. In line 9:38 PM, Paul was quoting Colonel Tu, not Thieu, who was South Vietnam prez.

Marc Caputo

Is the gay general sitting next to Erin Isaac, Gov. Crist's spokeswoman? She applauded him, along with the rest of the GOP crowd.

Marc Caputo

Mitt Romney: the best-looking candidate on HD.

Marc Caputo

Former Genl. Keith Kerr loses his mic, starts getting booed over his gays-in-service question.

lesley clark

first fla mention!

Marc Caputo

To SM: Andy Garcia is winning the debate. Hands down

lesley clark

Pompano Beach gets a question, whether candidates would accept support from the gay GOP group, the Log Cabin Republicans.
Huckabee says, sure, I'll take their support, quickly noting that it doesn't mean he supports them

Gary Fineout

A question from Denver that's important to Florida: More money for space program or not?

Marc Caputo

Tancredo says going to Mars is something country can't afford. Going to the White House is something his campaign can't afford.

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