A primary fight within the Democratic Party to select a nominee for president in 2016 could damage front-runner Hillary Clinton, Democratic adviser Joe Trippi told Fox News' "Happening Now" on Tuesday.
"A Democrat will emerge to challenge her, and frankly, that fight might damage her so much that, even if she wins it, she would have trouble in the general election," said Trippi, who managed former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean's run for president in 2004.
"There will be a fresh face, or someone from the left, that will challenge her. She will be seen as somebody that has to defend the establishment in the party and the status quo," he added.
Clinton "can't take anything for granted," Trippi said. He said this was especially true after she saw her front-runner status overtaken by then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008. Trippi acknowledged that Clinton, who ultimately served as Obama's secretary of state in his first term, is "a much stronger front-runner" now than she was in 2008.
Trippi predicted a "civil war" in the Republican Party in nominating a candidate for president. He said New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie, despite the recent bridge traffic gridlock controversy, was "still the one to watch."
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