Incoming House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said it was important for Republicans to forge a relationship with the Tea Party movement, lest they risk receiving a "shellacking" from voters.

Boehner reflected on the role the insurgent conservative activists played in delivering the GOP a majority in the House, as well as in the concurrent "shellacking," to use President Obama's words, delivered to Democrats.

The Ohio Republican talked about the growing intensity he observed upon visiting a Tea Party rally in Bakersfield, Calif., in early 2009.

“I could see that there was this rebellion starting to grow,” Boehner said of the experience in a profile piece in The New Yorker published on Monday. “And I didn’t want our members taking a shellacking as a result.”

It was Democrats instead who suffered a decisive political blow at the polls this fall, driven in part by the energy and enthusiasm in the Republican base fostered by the Tea Party movement.

“I urge you to get in touch with these efforts and connect with them,” Boehner said of his advice for the last two years for his members' relationship with the activists. “The people participating in these protests will be the soldiers for our cause a year from now.”

Republicans ended up picking up 63 seats in the House — enough to win the majority and make Boehner the Speaker-in-waiting. Over the course of the election cycle, Democrats had sought to paint the GOP as too cozy with some of the more eccentric elements of the Tea Party, even going so far as to release a mocking "Republican-Tea Party Contract With America."

Boehner's brought the movement into the fold in the new House majority by giving new GOP members a spot at the leadership table, though the leader of the Tea Party Caucus, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), has warned about the repercussions for Republican leaders should they stray from the movement's principles.