Florida’s Republican governor made a notable misstep Wednesday evening while trying to mark the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.
In a Facebook post published after 5 p.m., Rick Scott — on behalf of himself and First Lady Ann Scott — wished Jewish Floridians a “Happy Yom Kippur,” which isn’t the appropriate well-wish to offer, because the holiday isn’t a “happy” one.
Yom Kippur is a solemn holiday — the Day of Atonement — when Jews fast, reflect on their sins and ask for forgiveness.
Scott’s post also came a bit late. His wish for “a meaningful fast” was posted shortly before Jewish Floridians were about to break their daylong fast, which began Tuesday evening and ended Wednesday evening.
A couple of his Facebook followers commented with mocking remarks and insults about the timing and wording of his post.
“The message should have been written better to acknowledge the seriousness of the holy day,” Melissa Stone, the governor’s political spokeswoman, said in an email to the Herald/Times Thursday morning. “The governor hopes everyone observing Yom Kippur had a meaningful fast.”
The governor did, however, avoid the gaffes on Twitter. That account is managed by his official governor’s office staff, his official spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said.
On Tuesday evening, Scott tweeted — in English, then Spanish — a wish for “a meaningful fast and a healthy and happy new year” (sans the “Happy Yom Kippur”).
Scott has a larger audience on Facebook — with 129,000 followers there, compared to 78,400 Twitter followers.
Scott’s national profile has grown this year, as he took on the role of chairman for a Donald Trump super PAC. Scott is also rumored to be looking at a U.S. Senate run in 2018.