As Governor Scott Walker helped celebrate the start of Hanukkah on Tuesday, he said he joked with rabbis attending a menorah lighting ceremony at the executive residence about a mistake found in an letter that’s grabbed national headlines.
In a document from when he was the Milwaukee County Executive, Walker closed out a message to a Jewish leader using “Molotov,” instead of the likely intended “mazel tov.” A Molotov cocktail is an incendiary device, while Mazel tov is a Hebrew phrase for congratulations.
AUDIO: Gov. Scott Walker on his “Molotov” mistake (1:20)
Walker said Tuesday that the message likely dated back almost a decade, from around the time when the first menorah was put on display at a Milwaukee County park. After sharing the story with rabbis who were guests at the menorah lighting ceremony, the governor said “they laughed…they actually thought it was kind of funny.”
He added that it’s possible the letter was written by an intern and was never even sent.
The governor also joked with reporters about a lengthy mention about the incident on the “The Colbert Report,” a comedy news show. The governor said one of his sons told him about it, remarking that “after four and a half years, two John Does, and 50,000 emails, if that’s the worse they can pull on you, that’s not bad.”