Politics often resembles a school yard, but the most juvenile taunts are often left off the record or kept in private.

That wasn’t the case with Charlie King, a former Democratic Party executive director and ally of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who in a lengthy statement on Wednesday made a lewd double entendre that has also been deployed as a gay slur when referring to state Republican Chairman Ed Cox.

Updated: In a phone conversation, King took strong exception to the idea he used a gay slur, saying it was meant as a play on words and that he did not, in fact, use a discriminatory phrase.

King was responding to Cox’s criticism of Melissa DeRosa, who was appointed the top aide in Cuomo’s administration. Cox on Twitter had called DeRosa, the first woman to hold the post of secretary to the governor (akin to chief of staff in the White House) a “petty thug.”

“Despite our ideological differences, the Ed Cox I know believes deeply in this state and this country. He is imminently likeable but for the flaw of being Republican. He served with me in the best bipartisan spirit on then Attorney-General Elect Andrew Cuomo’s Transition Committee. He gives as good as he gets but never crosses the line with mean, ugly useless attacks. He wants what I want: a better New York,” King said.

Then he dropped this: “He’s just wrong and I’m right about how to get there. The Ed Cox who issued that tweet is one I did not recognize. It made him petty, small. Thuggish. A Cox sucker.”

Cox has gotten under the skin of the Cuomo administration repeatedly over the years, making reference to his late father-in-law, President Richard Nixon, lacing their statements with allusions to the Watergate scandal that took down his presidency.

The statement from King, who now works at Mercury Public Affairs, could be easily disavowed by the Cuomo administration and the Democratic Committee. But it’s an unusual — and some may say bizarre — attack to make.