March 19th, 2014
09:31 PM ET
4 years ago

Rand Paul: GOP like bad pizza crust

(CNN) - Rand Paul put a new spin on a familiar refrain that the Republican Party needs to broaden its base. He compared the GOP's need for change to a recent Domino's Pizza's campaign to improve the taste of its crust.

The Kentucky senator and potential 2016 presidential candidate told a packed crowd of students at the University of California at Berkeley on Wednesday that "the Republican Party needs to either evolve, adapt or die."

"Remember when Domino’s finally admitted they had bad crust? Think Republican Party. Admit it; bad crust. We need a different kind of party," he said referring to a well-known advertising campaign by the pizza chain.

Republican Rand Paul: There 'should be a struggle to make the party better'

After complaints from customers of stale, flavorless crust, Domino’s promised change and documented its efforts to come up with better tasting pizza.

Paul's prescription that his own party should undergo a public reinvention comes one year after the Republican National Committee engaged in what has come to be known as a post-election loss "autopsy." It was an analysis of its shortcomings following President Barack Obama’s reelection.

Libertarian-leaning Paul addresses liberal-leaning campus

Paul, a high-profile conservative figure, is seriously considering a run for the White House in 2016.

Further stirring speculation of a presidential run, Paul has been reaching out to historically less-friendly demographic territory for Republicans - like the notoriously liberal-leaning student body at UC Berkeley - to spread his message of limited-government libertarianism.

CPAC crowd stands for Rand

Asked during the question-and-answer part of the forum whether his apparent attempt to step into previously uncharted territory for Republican candidates is also an effort to broaden personal appeal as he contemplates a run for higher office, Paul said, "Maybe."

"Part of it might be that," he said to applause.

Paul said that a candidate who champions individuals' rights against government infringement should appeal to a wide audience given the state of the war on drugs and the United States' justice system.

Rand Paul announces suit against Obama administration over NSA

"Think about it. If you're African American, Japanese American, Jewish American, Hispanic - have there every been times when the government didn't treat you fairly? Have there ever been times when you said, you know what, the war on drugs has had a racial outcome," Paul said.

"Maybe a candidate who would stand up and say everybody deserves their day in court. The law should not have a racial outcome," he said. "Maybe then people would say, ‘I always hated those Republicans and their crust sucks but maybe there's some new Republicans.’ Maybe there will be a new GOP."

Paul, like his father, former presidential candidate and libertarian icon Ron Paul, has generated a sizable following among a younger generation.

Keenly aware of his student-age audience, Paul's pizza analogy could appeal to a demographic that helped launch Barack Obama from Illinois senator to the Oval Office - millennials.

A recent CNN/ORC International poll shows Paul is at the top of a crowded field of potential Republican presidential candidates, with 16% support among Republicans nationwide.

Filed under: 2016 • Rand Paul • Republican Party
soundoff (364 Responses)
  1. shawn

    Rand Paul is like the ris you get after you eat the bad pizza.

    March 19, 2014 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  2. Anton

    More lke the whole pie is rancid, rabid, and foaming at the mouth.

    March 19, 2014 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  3. Hotspot

    New crust...same old cheese.

    March 19, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  4. wotudezerv

    hey rand, no problem. the gop does not need to evolve, adapt or die. it, you, everything you stand for and all the people whose necks and livelihood and hopes you stand on, know that you are already dead. so, get our yr shovel mr. misspeak. keep digging. dig deep enough and you may be able to say I think I can see Alaska from here. Oh, what? Palin's behind? Blocking the sun. Meantime, real americans will be hard at work keeping the democracy you work to destroy alive.

    March 19, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  5. shawn

    Rand Paul is like the diarriha you get after you eat the bad pizza.

    March 19, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. Sarahs da best

    GOP is bad pizza crust and Ron Paul is the pineapple on top of it.

    March 19, 2014 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  7. Chris

    If the GOP is stale crust, then Rand Paul is stale crust with crazy sauce. Sorry, but no sorry Tea Party scumbag is ever going to appeal to millennials – the "packed crowd of students" were probably bought and paid-for plants courtesy of Paul's corporate owners.

    March 19, 2014 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  8. Dinaanid

    If a pizza analogy is all it takes, then he has found his dumbed-down base. I just hope America's students have more depth and critical thinking skills than that.

    March 19, 2014 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  9. mike trottier

    Maybe, Maybe.......this guy is still an empty suit.
    I Will Never Vote For A teatard terrorist,......EVER!

    March 19, 2014 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  10. Greg

    The toppings aren't so great either!

    March 19, 2014 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  11. Randy, San Francisco

    Because of his Libertairan views Sen Paul's front runner status will falter when he fails social conservative purity tests.

    March 19, 2014 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  12. Marcus

    Personally I want someone whose tastes go beyond pizza and also reads at a level higher than Dr. Seuss, which I guess rules out any Republican.

    March 19, 2014 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  13. Anonymouse

    The GOP is more like an old diaper, filled with Indian food

    March 19, 2014 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  14. ErnieS

    The GOP is like bad pizza crust, and you buddy boy, are like moldy garbage.

    March 19, 2014 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  15. 1776usa2016

    Paul, you first need to chase out all the extremists and fringe elements.

    Why you guys ever let Rove talk you into letting these goofy people in is beyond most former Republicans.

    Yes, the party will shrink a little. And for most of us former Republicans, that's ok. Because we never minded being the strong minority party. It was ok to let the Democrats come up with the new ideas and then have the Republicans run them through a good fiscal filter to see if they were doable. This worked well for quite a while. And it kept the stupid fringe elements at bay on both sides.


    March 19, 2014 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |

    The Republicans are only a bad pizza crust until he becomes the nominee (if he does). At that point 'look how improved we are'.

    Democrats and Republicans both are stale, past prime entrees.


    March 19, 2014 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |

    I never much cared for Rand Paul for the last few years, but now he is starting to make some sense. Far too often people confuse "Republicans" with "Conservatives". If he kept up this attitude of Social Libertarian and Fiscal Conservative, I would vote for him.

    March 19, 2014 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  18. bayrat

    Always did like the libertarian view of the "war on drugs".An absolute failure any way you look at it!

    March 19, 2014 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  19. James

    He's got my vote if he runs for President.

    March 19, 2014 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  20. TomGI

    What is this nerd talking about? Do you think he loves every word or phrase that comes out of his mouth? Certainly believes he is a legend in his own mind, rock star Rand.

    March 19, 2014 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  21. midgick

    This is the major problem for the GOP Party. They need to get better but can't. The analogy of pizza crust is crummy(lol)
    but not to far off the mark.The changes cannot be cosmetic, but need to fundamentally reformatted.
    Kind of like asking an alcoholic to stop drinking and change his whole mindset. Question is, can this happen?

    March 19, 2014 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  22. Josh

    This guy is not a libertarian. Goodness, what's with the insistence on labeling him as such?

    March 19, 2014 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  23. airjackie

    Ron Paul did well with his 1940 form of Government. Rand is again taking college students to be stupid and again he will learn they know his game. The students likely learned the NSA law was signed by President Bush after Congress/Senate passed the Bill. California is not the racist sections of Texas and Kentucky that Rand is use to. Everyone knows Rand hired KKK staffers for this campaign for President. Rand was a joke at Howard U, and made a fool of himself at a Latino Event.. Rand has to get more sane talking points from his Father.

    March 19, 2014 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  24. M. Eric Carr

    You want smaller, less invasive government, sir? So do I. Let's start with reproductive rights...

    March 19, 2014 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  25. TheSadTruth

    Mr. Paul now wants to serve you a stuffed crust pizza. "Stuffed with what you ask?" You don't want to know.

    March 19, 2014 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
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