Mr. Sanders said he plans to make endorsements in the midterms, but that he is still deciding where he can be most effective.
In the New York governor’s race, in which Cynthia Nixon, the progressive activist and former “Sex and the City” star, is challenging Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in the Democratic primary, Mr. Sanders declined to make an endorsement when asked. Ms. Nixon has positioned herself as more of a populist, criticizing Mr. Cuomo for his reliance on large donors.
“Governor Cuomo has a strong record, he has done some very good things, obviously there are areas where I disagree with him,” Mr. Sanders said. “Cynthia seems to be generating a lot of grass-roots enthusiasm running on a progressive platform.”
Asked if he could envision endorsing Mr. Cuomo over Ms. Nixon, Mr. Sanders reiterated that he was not making any endorsements on Friday.
The political stances of Mr. Sanders and Mr. Cuomo became a point of debate this week when a spokeswoman for Mr. Cuomo said the two politicians were “in lockstep.”
Asked about that comment, Mr. Sanders replied, “My staff said something differently.” A senior adviser to Mr. Sanders, Ari Rabin-Havt, had tweeted a colorful vulgarity regarding “the idea that Andrew Cuomo and Bernie Sanders are lock step on policy.” Mr. Rabin-Havt sat across the table from Mr. Sanders on Friday as he spoke.