Mike Francesa is a hard marker with everyone, even presidents.
The WFAN legend took a brief detour into political talk during his latest BetRivers podcast. And it was an interesting one. While answering a listener’s email, Francesa — who endorsed former president Donald Trump in 2016, then blasted him for his response to the coronavirus pandemic — revealed he voted for current president Joe Biden in 2020. He was also critical of both men, saying he is “very disappointed” in how Trump finished his term and Biden’s start to his.
Francesa pulled back significantly on the Trump talk after the 2016 election. And he retired from WFAN for the second time in July 2020. So he was not on the air for November’s election, Trump’s lies about a stolen election and the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. He did tweet during that time span — he called the riot “a national disgrace” — but his podcast comments are his first substantial public remarks on politics in some time.
“I was disappointed in how things finished up for Trump, who I voted for,” Francesa said. “I thought he lost his way and got all tangled up with his massive ego, which we all know he has. He refused to accept defeat when, really, for the good of the country he had to accept defeat and accept the way we do things. And he really didn’t, to his detriment.
“But I’ve been disappointed in Biden, who I voted for this past time. I’ve been disappointed in Biden in that I thought Biden would get elected and play to the center; be levelheaded and play to the center. And if anything, he’s played to the extremists. And I’m disappointed in that. I don’t think he’s done a good job.
“At the end, I don’t think Trump did a good job. And so far, I don’t think Biden has done a good job. I’m very disappointed in both of them.”
The genesis of Francesa’s comments: A listener asked him if he plans to discuss politics on his new platform. When Francesa transitioned out of afternoon drive on WFAN and into his short stint as a digital-first voice for Audacy, he initially said he planned to do more political analysis. That did not come to pass, save his high-profile rants in the early days of the pandemic. And it is unclear how much he will do now as the host of a sports-focused podcast sponsored by a sports book. But Francesa indicated there is a desire once the 2024 election cycle is in full swing.
“You’re in that lull period,” he said. “We haven’t started the new presidential cycle; that will be right after the midterms, which are coming up.”
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]