The liberal Harvard professor Larry Lessig said Monday heplanned to withdraw from the Democratic presidential race, sayingthe national party has implemented rules that keepsÂ himout of the debates.
â€œI wanted to run as president as aDemocrat,â€ Lessig said in a video posted online.â€œBecause the values I champion are shared by allAmericans but especially by Democrats. But it is now clear that theparty wonâ€™t let me be a candidate. And Icanâ€™t ask people to support a campaign that Iknow canâ€™t even get before the members of theDemocratic Party.â€
Said Lessig: â€œI must today end my campaignfor the Democratic nomination. And turn to the question of how bestto continue to press for this reform now.â€
Lessig, who was running a campaign to combat theâ€œcorruptionâ€ of the politicalsystem, announcedÂ in September he would run forpresident.
â€œTwelve weeks ago, we launched a campaign toput fixing our Democracy first at the center of this presidentialelection,â€ Lessig said in the video.â€œI said that if we crowd-fund a million dollarsin less than 30 days, Iâ€™d run in the Democraticprimary for president and give every ounce of my energy to thecause of focusing America on this critical need.â€
Lessig acknowledged in Mondayâ€™s video thatâ€œgetting into the Democratic debates was theessential step in this campaign.â€
â€œI may be known in tiny corners of the tubesof the internet, but I am not well known to the American publicgenerally,â€ he said. â€œOur onlychance to make this issue central to the 2016 presidential electionwas to be in those debates.â€
Lessig said the national party has changed the rules for beingable to participate in the debate as he neared qualifying.
â€œLast week, we learned that the DemocraticParty has changed its rules for inclusion in thedebate,â€ Lessig said. â€œAnd under thenew rule, unless we can time travel, there is no way that I willqualify.â€
Explained Lessig: â€œUntil this week, the rulewas three polls finding me at one percent in the six weeks prior tothe debate. Last week, we began to getcloseÂ â€”Â two polls foundme at one percent. One more, and I would be in the second debate,under the original rule. But under the new rule, the standard isthree polls at least six weeks before the debate. That means Iwouldâ€™ve had to qualified at the beginning ofOctober, which means nothing that happens now couldmatter.â€
â€œUnder this new rule,â€ Lessigsaid, â€œI am just shut out.â€