Elections

Overstock.com president: Ron Paul ‘would be a better president’ than Romney

Overstock.com President Jonathan Johnson told The Daily Caller Thursday that he firmly supports the presidential campaign of Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul.

“I like someone who is trying to put real reform in that will reduce the national debt. I like that he’s concerned about monetary policy and trying to curb inflation,” Johnson said.

Johnson, a Mormon who lives in Salt Lake City, gave TheDC a long list of reasons why he supports the libertarian-minded congressman.

“I like that he wants the federal government smaller, pushing more decisions back to the states and communities where they properly reside,” he said. “I like that there are federal agencies that he would disband altogether. And most of all, I like that he fights for liberty and the individual, rather than trying to grow the power of the federal government.”

Johnson said he believes Paul has a shot at winning the nomination, noting that he’s been paying attention to the results from states where primary voters have already gone to the polls. “The whole primary is getting topsy-turvy right now, so it’s hard to tell who has a shot,” he observed.

The man at the helm of the online retail giant said that his Mormon faith “influences just about everything I do,” including forming political positions.

“Every member of the church interprets its teachings how they like,” said Johnson. “For me liberty is a key part of those teachings, and agency and freedom of the individual to act are key parts of the teachings. For me they seem to mesh well with a more libertarian view.”

Johnson said many Mormons he knows support Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, but that he also expects Paul to perform well in Utah — the last state to vote in the primary process this year.

“I think Romney is a fine person and would be a fine president, but I think Dr. Paul would be a better president,” Johnson said. As a Republican he expects to support the eventual GOP nominee. But, he added, “before knowing who that is, it’s too soon to say.”

“I think this country needs to take some tough medicine to right itself,” Johnson said. “I hope Dr. Paul is elected and if he’s not, I hope he has influenced the conversation enough that another GOP candidate will take that up.”

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