Jon Huntsman may be the prototypical margin of error candidate, lagging far behind Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, but his daughters are at the top of the Twitter heap.
The three adult daughters of the former Utah governor and ambassador to China — Abby Livingston, Liddy and Mary Anne Huntsman — are making waves by lampooning the competition in 140 characters.
The Huntsman brood tweets under the handle Jon2012girls, and their free-spirited messages are far sassier than the placid public image projected by most political offspring.
“How does Romney know anything about China? He's only been there once and that was for the Olympics. Panda express doesn't count,” the girls wrote.
“Dad you rocked! From Kurt Cobain to your Harley. We love you. Enjoy your ride on the Tea Party express, motocross edition …,” went another note of support following a Republican debate.
They’ve even tried to engage the children of their father’s rivals.
“@tromney Want to tailgate for the next debate? Vegas wild. We'll bring the godfathers, you bring the Diet Coke,” the girls tweeted at Romney’s son Tagg.
Thus far, Tagg hasn’t responded to any of their tweets. Tagg's dad may be ahead of the girl's pops in the polls, but the Huntsman ladies have more followers — 4,719 to the Romney scion's measly 993.
But the Huntsman girls’ irreverence has generated some criticism, leading to an appearance on Fox News last weekend in which they defended their comments as good, clean Twitter fun.
“There’s a lot of satire that goes into our tweets,” Abby Livingston said. “A lot of it isn't 100 percent serious … I hope the people out there aren't like, ‘They are really trying to get after people or say negative things.’ We are trying to get people to laugh."
Here's the interview: