- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker is trying to take his “Molotov” gaffe in stride.

Walker, speaking after a menorah-lighting ceremony at the governor’s mansion Tuesday, said he joked with rabbis about a letter drafted in his name to a Jewish leader about a decade ago that ends with him saying “Molotov” instead of “mazel tov.”

A Molotov cocktail is a crude incendiary device, like gasoline in a jar, that’s typically lit with a rag. Mazel tov is a Hebrew and Yiddish phrase expressing congratulations or good luck.

The undated letter in which the phrases were mixed up was among thousands of documents and emails released publicly in August that were collected by investigators as part of a now-closed investigation into Walker aides and associates.

It’s unclear whether the letter was sent before the mistake was caught, or if Walker or someone else made the error.

“It’s quite possible that was done by an intern or someone on staff who never actually sent the letter off,” Walker said Tuesday.

It was first reported on last week and quickly became national news, with comedian Stephen Colbert doing a segment on his Comedy Central show “The Colbert Report” making fun of Walker, who is considering running for president.

Walker said his son pointed out the Colbert segment to him and he got a kick out of it.

“It was pretty funny,” Walker said, laughing. “I liked the first part when he predicted me the winner in 2016 with absolutely no precincts reporting or caring at this point.”

Walker said he also discussed the issue with rabbis who came to Madison for the menorah-lighting ceremony to mark the festival of Hanukkah, which starts Tuesday night.

“They laughed,” Walker said. “They actually thought it was kind of funny.”

Walker said that after being in office four years, and being involved with two secret investigations that resulted in roughly 50,000 emails being made public, “if that’s the worst they can pull on you, that’s not bad.”

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Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sbauerAP


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