Cain, he said, will face the same problems faced by Dean, who went on to lose the Democratic primary in 2004 to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry: the question of whether he can win an general election when the number one goal of the primary voters is to oust the incumbent of the opposite party.

“What they love about Howard Dean is he’s directly taking on George Bush and he’s got a backbone that they think their party has been missing and he’s standing up for stuff they believe in on the left that none of these other guys will talk about,” Trippi said of the 2004 race.

“The problem is … they keep saying repeatedly that Howard Dean doesn’t beat George Bush in any polls, that Kerry does that,” he said. “So their problem is, ‘I love this guy because he takes George Bush on, but damnit, I want to beat George Bush. I don’t just want to go to rallies and cheer. I want to beat him. That isn’t enough. If we can’t beat him, cheering doesn’t do any good.’”