They’re among the Twitter celebrities of the president race – Jon Huntsman’s three 20-something daughters, who are providing amusing, irreverent commentary on all things campaign under a joint Twitter handle: @jon2012girls.
The candidate himself has jokingly bemoaned their ability to draw buzz for their Tweets and YouTube videos, in comparison, say, to his latest policy speech on job creation.
In ABC’s “Top Line” today, they provided a little piece of advice to their dad that takes a page from one of their more successful endeavors.
“I tell him to bring bubbles all the time to the debates, and he doesn’t listen to me,” Liddy Huntsman, at 23 the youngest – and most likely to be hitting the “send” button – of the three Tweeting young women. ”Maybe next time — maybe he will. When no one’s paying attention, you just blow bubbles and then, OK, answer the question.”
It worked for the Huntsman daughters in what’s perhaps their most famous viral video to date – a send-up of a Herman Cain Web ad that replaced a cigarette-smoking Cain aide with bubbles.
And the schtick is working on Twitter, where they’ve amassed more than 11,000 followers with commentary about life on the campaign trail – they’re all taking time off of work to volunteer for their dad’s presidential bid – debate observations, and wry remarks about the sillier side of politics.
“We’re just a very open, honest family, and I think that people like that honesty, and we’re — we love to laugh,” said Abby Huntsman, 25, who previously worked at ABC News.
“I don’t think we had any intention of it becoming so viral,” added Mary Anne Huntsman. “So, I mean, that was exciting.”
Several of their Tweets have raised eyebrows – or, more to the point, can-you-believe? it re-Tweets. One example, in the middle of a debate last month: “How does Romney know anything about China? He’s only been there once and that was for the Olympics. Panda express doesn’t count.”
Liddy Huntsman fessed up: “Frustration came in that tweet, you know,” she told us. “They’re sitting up there. They’re asking a China question to someone who doesn’t have the experience or resume that my dad might have, and you know, then they skip over my dad where you’re like, ‘Hello, like, he was ambassador of China, he’s been an expert there for 30 years. … It doesn’t make sense.’ So I think that’s where some of the Tweets have kind of come in with a little humor, but also some frustration.”
“I now have parental supervision now during the debates, so that’s why they’re not as clever anymore,” Liddy said.
While some of their dad’s attempts at humor have fallen flat, the daughters insist that he’s a funny guy.
“Who do you think we get our humor from?” Liddy told us.
Added Abby: “Well, obviously you think, ‘Oh Dad, no, come on.’ Like, especially when we were dating in high school, that was the worst. When he’d answer the door, he’d put on Billy Bob Teeth.”
Mary Anne: “He loves to embarrass us.”
They went on to tell us that they still like where their father stands, particularly in New Hampshire, where he’s banking his early-state hopes.
They said they want to meet the men behind one of the spoof Twitter accounts out there – so @Jon2012boys, if you’re watching or clicking, you know where to find them on Twitter.
They’re also open to doing something with the five “Romney boys,” Mitt Romney’s sons who played more of a role in their father’s 2008 campaign than they have this year.
“Maybe we can get one big bus,” Abby Huntsman suggested.
And they promised to include Amy Walter and I in a JibJab video like the one they posted featuring their dad and four of his rivals. (We will hold them to this pledge.)
“Give us an hour, we’ll go behind our computers and figure something out,” Mary Anne Huntsman said.