Lessig backtracks on vow to quit presidency after campaign finance reform
© Getty Images

Longshot Democratic 2016 contender Lawrence Lessig says he will serve a full term of president if elected, backtracking from his earlier vow to resign as soon as he accomplished campaign finance reform.

"Yeah, that was stupid... totally stupid," Lessig said on Friday night when asked about that pledge on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."

Lessig, a prominent campaign finance advocate and Harvard Law professor, suggested people were not taking his campaign seriously because of that pledge.

ADVERTISEMENT

"What's weird about politics is that you come in and you say 'I don't want all the power' and you're a little bit humble about what you want, and they're like 'what's wrong with you? You're like a crazy man.'

"You don't want all the power in the world; you want to do one thing? They don't trust you. And I didn't quite get that. That's my stupidity," he added.

"The whole focus was going to be" you're going to resign you're going to resign," he continued. "People were obsessed with that and the Democratic party said we can't take you seriously because you're going to resign.

"Fine you win, I withdraw that promise. I'm running for president with the commitment that we're gong to pass the legislation that gets us a democracy back," said Lessig, who vowed he would then stay in office to "tackle other issues."

Lessig had previously said he would step down after passing campaign finance reform and let the vice president take over.

The candidate is currently polling at less than 1 percent in national polls and did not participate in the first Democratic debate on Tuesday.