In the lead-up to the second presidential debate tonight, both candidates are trying to play up the other’s missteps on YouTube.

President Barack Obama needs to come out swinging at Tuesday night’s debate, and that offense was already starting on YouTube this week. Nearly two weeks after his lackluster performance in the first presidential debate, Obama will face off with Republican Mitt Romney in round two in New York.

Simply put, Obama needs a “YouTube” moment. But for now he’s using the video sharing site to try and slow Romney’s progress. And both campaigns are using footage from the debates to flood YouTube with new content.

While the Obama camp was nailing Romney on YouTube as a flip flopper, it was also propping up last week’s debate performance by Vice President Joe Biden. The campaign posted more than a dozen clips from Biden’s lively performance against Paul Ryan last Thursday. The number of clips of Obama from his first debate? Zero.

Many of the videos uploaded in recent weeks are negative swipes at Romney, a prime example of how the Obama camp has at times left “hope” by the wayside during this election cycle. Recently, the president’s campaign has favored negative campaigning to try to slow the gains Romney has been seeing in the polls, including in key swing states, since his surprising performance at the first debate.

Although it’s likely that every political campaign would like to remain positive and hopeful, negative campaigning is very effective. It could be especially helpful this week.

The effectiveness of those negative ads could be seen in the comments sections of the video.

“Romney is a liar plain and simple. There is enough video of him to make an open and shut case,” wrote Crocodylus73.

The debates actually became fodder for the Romney campaign as well. The Republican hopeful was able to use clips from both debates, including shots of a defeated President Obama.

YouTube has become an important medium, especially for the debates, since each campaign can pick and edit footage and create an endless number of videos to upload. Get ready for another deluge after tonight’s performance.

Photo via Mitt Romney/YouTube

Layer 8
Presidential debate reactions: Gotye, Kanye, and Big Bird’s WTF moment
Plus Silent Jim Lehrer, a dedicated Reddit thread for Al Jazeera, and more. 
From Our VICE Partners

Pure, uncut internet. Straight to your inbox.