Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale 'Medicare for All' costs trillion over 10 years MORE (I-Vt.) said Friday that Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerIs Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader MORE (R-Ohio) was "unable to control" his party and that his resignation could leave Republicans increasingly "out of touch."

"It appears that even a very conservative speaker like John Boehner is unable to control the extreme right-wing drift of Republicans in the House," Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, said in a statement.


He added that Republicans are "way out of touch with the American people" and that "without Boehner, it may get even worse."

The Ohio Republican announced during a closed-door meeting in the morning that he would retire at the end of October. The decision sets up a race among House Republicans to replace him.

Conservative lawmakers, who had recently talked of ousting Boehner, are already pledging to stick together so they could influence who is picked as his successor.

Senators on both sides of the aisle are praising Boehner in the wake of his decision to step down.

Sanders said during an interview with "The Thom Hartmann Program" that he is not "somebody intimately involved with Republican politics, but my guess is that he probably ran out of energy in terms of taking on the very extreme right wingers."