Lawrence Lessig rules out third-party run
© Getty

Democratic presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig is ruling out a third-party run for the White House, saying he has no desire to play the role of spoiler.

“I wish there was a way to run as an independent,” Lessig said, according to Ars Technica.

“The two parties have made that essentially impossible — at least to win,” the Harvard Law School professor said.


“No doubt I could split the vote of the Democratic Party, but I have no desire to Nader this election,” he added, referring to Ralph Nader, whose Green Party candidacy in 2000 was seen as taking votes from Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreAl Gore says Democrats should run on the Green New Deal Charlotte Pence to hold wedding reception at vice president's residence Impeachment can't wait MORE.

Lessig argued on Tuesday that he is not a long-shot presidential candidate given his emphasis on campaign finance reform.

“Reform can still win,” he said. “The part of the system that is most broken is Congress.”

“We still have the ability to elect a president,” Lessig said.  “And if we elect a president with a super-mandate to demand Congress fix itself, I will do everything possible to make sure Congress does fix itself.”

Lessig charged that GOP presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE is resonating with voters by attacking political corruption in all its forms.

“Until Donald Trump, it’s true that among GOP insiders in D.C., corruption wasn’t an issue,” he said.

“After Donald Trump, it is as much a question for Republicans as Democrats: How can we have a Congress free to lead?” Lessig asked.

“What every president since Clinton teaches us is that presidents promise reform, and then fail to act on it,” he added, citing former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonCNN's Cuomo promotes 'Dirty Donald' hashtag, hits GOP for 'loyalty oath' to Trump Whether a rule is cruel or kind, regulatory analysis shines a light Moderate or left of center — which is better for Democrats in 2020? MORE

“A regular president cannot take on Congress. That’s what the referendum presidency is meant to achieve.”

Lessig launched his presidential campaign earlier this month on platform of making major changes to campaign finance and ethics laws.

He began his White House run after his exploratory committee successfully raised $1 million before Labor Day.