By Jane Little
BBC News, Washington
The Republican presidential candidates have had heated exchanges in another televised debate, their first to feature questions submitted via video-sharing website YouTube.
Issues raised included abortion, guns and taxes
Among other topics, they clashed over immigration and the troop timetable in Iraq.
They stood in matching dark suits and white shirts on the stage in St Petersburg, Florida - eight candidates who were so reluctant to engage the youthful, online generation that they had turned down an earlier invitation from YouTube.
But now they were here, apparently determined to make the most of it. And they turned what could have been another dull stage show into the most animated and entertaining Republican debate so far.
The gloves came off from the start, with the first of several questions on immigration, a subject close to the hearts of many Republican voters.
People sent in video questions from across the US
Mitt Romney accused Rudy Giuliani, the frontrunner in national polls, of running a "Sanctuary City" for illegal immigrants while mayor of New York.
But Mr Giuliani shot back at Mitt Romney's "holier than thou attitude", adding that he ran a "sanctuary mansion...at his own home illegal immigrants were being employed."
The former Massachusetts governor, who is ahead of his rival in Iowa and New Hampshire polls, denied the charge.
And they were not the only ones trading punches.
When libertarian candidate Ron Paul said he would save trillions of dollars by pulling the troops out of Iraq, he was attacked by Sen John McCain, chief proponent of the troop surge, who said "that kind of isolationism sir, is what caused World War Two."
He added that the troops he had visited in Iraq over Thanksgiving had urged America to "let us win."
As in the Democratic debate a few months ago, people sent in video questions from across the US.
There were no animated snowmen this time asking about global warming, but there was a brief appearance from a cartoon version of Vice President, Dick Cheney. Others asked for the candidates' views on abortion, guns, gays and God.
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Mike Huckabee, the former Baptist Minister and Governor or Arkansas, put in a convincing performance, and one that may well help his climb in Iowa, where he is polling well.
He continued to court evangelical voters by talking about the bible as the word of revelation from God, and he even side-stepped a tough question on the death penalty - "What would Jesus do?" by replying, "Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office!"
That drew some of the biggest applause and laughter of a night that was largely a serious affair.
And now they have made their foray into the online politics of the 21st Century, it is back to old-fashioned, town hall stuff as they compete for support in Iowa and New Hampshire where the first caucus and primary are a little over a month away.