From the Morning Memo:

Republican Chairman Ed Cox believes Carl Paladino should remain on the Buffalo School Board, saying in a Capital Tonight interview his critics are using the comments he made about President Obama and the first lady as an excuse to kick him out of his post.

“I would like to see him continue in his current job. He feels passionately about inner city kids and doing something for them,” Cox said. “They want to get rid, but that’s for other reasons. They’re using this as an excuse. He’s trying to get real reforms there. If he focuses on that, that would be very significant. He should focus on that, totally, and get that job done.”

Paladino late last month responded to survey questions from a newsweekly in western New York about his aspirations for 2017, saying he wanted Obama to die of mad cow disease and have Michelle Obama “return to being man” and live with a gorilla in Africa.

Paladino insisted several days later he had meant to send the responses to friends as a joke.

An effort is underway by the Buffalo School Board to remove Paladino after the remarks caused an uproar, given Paladino’s prominent role in Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign in New York.

Cox in the interview noted Paladino’s son distanced himself from the remarks of his father.

“His son completely disowned his father’s statement and I retweeted that,” he said. “That was a substantive response.”

But as for Paladino’s future in elected politics — he’s talked about running for governor again in 2018 — Cox said that would be a steep climb for the Buffalo real estate developer.

“That would be up to him, but I think it would be very difficult given the comments he made,” Cox said.