Washington (CNN) - Note to national Republicans: beware the Tea Party in 2012.
That's the message from the Tea Party Patriots, one of the movement's largest groups, as it celebrates early wins during Tuesday's midterm elections. Members and supporters of the group watched election returns from a Capitol Hill hotel.
"It's primarily important that we hold Republicans accountable," Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler told CNN after Republicans Rand Paul claimed victory in Kentucky and Marco Rubio won in Florida.
Meckler continued: "Frankly, the Republicans blew it over a very long period of time. The largest deficit ever run up in history, before the current administration, was run up by George Bush."
"Our job is to reverse that course and not allow any party to ever do that again."
Then, Meckler essentially warned the GOP.
"The Republicans need to know, we've done it in 2010. If they don't do the right thing in the next couple of years, it's not a problem. We'll come back in 2012. We'll do it all over again. We'll replace them with people that will uphold those principles," Meckler said. He was referring to the movement's principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility and an adherence to the Constitution.
Tea Party Patriots Media Coordinator Randy Lewis echoed a similar sentiment.
"In a sense, we don't have to win the Senate. We only have to get close. Because it's going to change the way everybody looks over the next two years," Lewis told CNN.
Lewis referred to the senators, both Democratic and Republican, who will be up for re-election in 2012.
"Every one of them has to be looking at this election tonight and trying to figure out, 'Are they going to run again?' Or do they want to start adopting some of the Tea Party ideology," Lewis said.
"The Congress…is going to have to look at the electoral power of the Tea party."
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