Carl Paladino doubled down on his inflammatory remarks made to a Buffalo newsweekly, insisting in a lengthy statement that they were “nothing to do with race.”

Paladino in a “wish list” survey for the ArtVoice suggested he wanted President Obama to die of Mad Cow disease and First Lady Michelle Obama to “return to being a man” and live with a gorilla in an African cave.

“It has nothing to do with race,” Paladino said. “That’s the typical stance of the press when they can’t otherwise defend the acts of the person being attacked. It’s about 2 progressive elitist ingrates who have hated their country so badly and destroyed its fabric in so many respects in 8 years.”

Paladino, the 2010 Republican nominee for governor and Buffalo businessman, is a prominent supporter of President-elect Donald Trump having served as state campaign co-chairman. Earlier this month, Paladino met with Trump at his 5th Avenue tower to discuss the transition.

In his response, Paladino airs a series of grievances with Obama’s presidency, ranging from the targeting of political groups by the IRS, the administration’s handling of the Syrian crisis and how the president did “nothing for black children in our urban centers held prisoner by the cycle of poverty and illegitimate black leadership more interested in power and preserving their voting base by keeping them hungry and uneducated in the inner cities.”

He concludes: “And yes, it’s about a little deprecating humor which America lost for a long time. Merry Christmas and tough luck if you don’t like my answer.”

Calls are growing for Paladino to be removed from his post on the Buffalo School Board from state lawmakers and the Parent Teacher Organization. For now, the state Education Department won’t comment on the remarks given the potential for disciplinary action.

Carl Response by Nick Reisman on Scribd