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 GoreTrump's election fraud claims pose risks for GOP in midterms Don't 'misunderestimate' George W. Bush Why the pro-choice movement must go on the offensive 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 TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results 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 ClintonFive takeaways from Arizona's audit results Virginia governor's race enters new phase as early voting begins Business coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees 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.