From the Morning Memo:

Charlie King, a former state Democratic Committee executive director and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2002 running mate, apologized in a statement issued Wednesday evening for making a lewd and homophobic double entendre criticizing Republican Chairman Ed Cox.

King had issued a statement earlier in the day blasting Cox for his criticism of the Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s appointment of Melissa DeRosa to the post of secretary to the governor, the top staff-level position in the administration.

Allies of the governor, including King, had taken exception to Cox’s referring to DeRosa as a “petty thug.” Cuomo on Wednesday suggested sexism was at play in questioning the appointment as well.

But in his statement, King called the chairman “A Cox sucker.” In a subsequent follow-up phone call, King insisted he had not used a homophobic slur directly, but intended to use it as a pun or a play on words.

King then emailed an apology.

“I believe my criticism of Ed Cox today was over the top and went too far. Mr. Cox should expect from me no less than I expect from him, no matter how disappointed one of us may feel about the other at any given time. I did not live up to my end of the bargain today,” King said.

“If there is a teachable moment here it might be this: look how quickly two relatively rational political players from opposite sides with an affinity for one another raced to the bottom during these uncertain times. Perhaps we all must redouble our efforts against this temptation in the future.”