OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau set Twitter atwitter Wednesday by responding to a fan letter with his father's infamous "Just watch me" line.
Michael Kydd, who was sharing a Porter flight from Halifax late Tuesday with the Liberal leadership contender, passed Trudeau a note asking: "Can you actually beat (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper? Wishing you all the best."
It came back with Pierre Elliott Trudeau's quote and Justin's looping signature. (The exchange was later confirmed as genuine by Trudeau online).
Kydd posted a photo of the note on Twitter, exclaiming "Cool response!" and set 'just watch me' trending on the social network.
Trudeau's fans swooned while others poked fun at the note.
Harper spokesman Andrew MacDougall posted a picture of a lookalike note on Twitter in which someone writes to ask him his opinion of the contender's quip.
"Fuddle duddle," he responds, referencing another of the former prime minister catchphrases.
But not everyone saw the lighter side. Some frowned on Trudeau playing cute with a phrase the elder Trudeau made famous just before suspending civil liberties during Quebec's October Crisis in 1970.
Three days after telling Canadians he would do what's necessary to crack down on FLQ terrorists who kidnapped British trade commissioner James Cross and Quebec minister Pierre Laporte in Montreal, the government imposed the War Measures Act.
Under the act, the FLQ was banned, civil liberties suspended, and more than 450 people were arrested or detained, many later released without charges.
Two days later Laporte's body was found in the trunk of a car in a Montreal suburb.