March 19th, 2014
09:31 PM ET
9 months 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.

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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.

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"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. mungo

    I'll believe the GOP has changed when they elect Tommy Chong.

    March 20, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Thom

    It would be pizza for the rich ....let's see.....The "Mega Rich" Pizza with extra tax loopholes, the Anti Gay Pizza, The "Illegal Deal" Pizza, The GOP Supreme Pizza" hold the Blacks, The "No work, no free money Pizza", and todays' special...... The "We control Your Body Pizza".

    March 20, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. ljabarr

    A better analogy is the GOP is like the herpes virus. One can live with it but every now and then there's a vicious flare up.

    March 20, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Roscoe Chait

    Terrible comparison. Domino's pizza at its worse is a thousand times better than the Republican Party. Never had a bad pizza from Domino's, unlike the Republicans... who are like stale, dead, 10-day old flounder fish.

    March 20, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. AndrewA

    I think the problem is that some in the GoP like bad pizza crusts. I mean isn't taste in food subjective? Maybe I'm reading to deep into the metaphor :p

    March 20, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. stepren

    Isn't Rand Paul one of these pro-life guys that believes the government should look into the private lives of women?

    March 20, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Gary

    I understand his analogy but Domino's pizza is a generic mass-produced product for mindless people... Oh wait, never mind... Clean the crust up, you still got a poorly made product...

    March 20, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. JOnah

    Rand Paul is from Kentucky. What does he know about pizza?

    March 20, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Ken

    Wake Up – Forget who's going to "pay for the poor in the south". How about the poor stop relying on the Gov't teet. Get educated, move up in the world and stop relying on the hard working people across America to take care of them. Don't tell me about the disadvantaged youths of America that aren't afforded a quality education. You can look at ANY High School no matter how bad the area is and you'll see 1, 2 10 or more success stories of kids that overcame that enviroment become educated go on to college and become a productive memeber of society. If one student at any school no matter how bad the conditions are can achieve this then there is no reason why all of them can't. We have way too many people in our society that are making babies that can barely take care of themself let alone a baby. These are generally going to be the kids that don't make it no matter what race they are from. A home without parents and without discipline will lead children down a path towards destruction.

    March 20, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. Merle McClung

    The GOP isn't trying to broaden its base by changing its ideology, they are only changing the packaging. Their political platform will remain anti-abortion, anti-poor and it will still cater to the rich and business. They haven't changed their spots, just their marketing.

    March 20, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  11. Anonymous

    @Kevy

    "I don't care how much they dance around and say "I CAN CHANGE, I CAN CHANGE, I didn't mean to be a cruel spirited little bully!" I DON'T BELIEVE IT! AND NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE."

    All that anti-Obama talk coming home to roost. There is absolutely nothing this party of misfits can say to make up for 6 years of anti-Obama, anti-government, anti-women, anti-voting, anti-minorities, anti-democratic rhetoric and still be considered believable. Rand Paul wants to become President of the United States. Ted Cruz wants to become President of the United States. Both are the very epitome of the anti-Obama rhetoric they spewed for 6 years. Both are junior senators. Both have obstructed. Both should understand that the very obstruction they caused hurt Americans of all shapes and flavors. Both would face equal obstruction if elected. Both are hypocrites of the highest magnitude. Now both want to sweep all their rhetoric under the rug and call for a even playing field. Both are fools. What goes around comes around. The republican party is in a world of hurt of their own making. All their rhetorical talking points will haunt them for years to come. Laughter is healing and America will have the last laugh at these hypocrites.

    March 20, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. Mike S., New Orleans

    Rand Paul is probably an expert on makeovers. He wears more makeup than Dolly Parton and Tammy Fay Bakker combined.

    March 20, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. Topspin

    The GOP is a crusty old party. Not only the crust has to go though. The ingredients need to be changed as well. What is inside the GOP is rotten to the core. The GOP heart is cold and hard. Really no chance in hell that will ever change!

    March 20, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  14. manekeniko

    He's right about the bad crust, but he doesn't go far enough. The whole GOP pizza is bad.

    March 20, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. bill dunn

    Rand should liken the Republican Party to Sbarroos, the whole pizza tastes like crap and it wen out of business just like the Republicans do in national elections.

    March 20, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. Thing55

    More like rancid pizza with mold on it.

    March 20, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Kevin

    The problem with Rand Paul is that for everything he says that I agree with, he then turns around and says something completely insane. Less military involvement in foreign nations? Great! Repealing anti-segregation laws? Um, no.

    March 20, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. rs

    You can look at ANY High School no matter how bad the area is and you'll see 1, 2 10 or more success stories of kids that overcame that enviroment become educated go on to college and become a productive memeber of society.
    -_______________________________________________
    Great! 10 succeed Now what about the other 1,400? How do you help them? Or do they somehow not count?

    March 20, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. RRM

    '"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.'

    *In other words, only minorities or non-white races use drugs?

    March 20, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. jerryab

    Simply don't buy (give to or vote for) that "bad pizza crust" ever again. Problem solved.

    March 20, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. Church of Suicidal

    "the Republican Party needs to either evolve, adapt or die."

    Best of luck with that. Half of the GOP supporters ardently believe evolution is part of a liberal plot to destroy their religion.

    March 20, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Michael

    This is just more Republitard smoke and mirrors designed to keep the votes of ig-nor-ant, gul-lible working people. If you aren't in the 1%, then the Republitard party does not represent you, and you're being naive if you think they are.

    March 20, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Michael

    This is just more GOP smoke and mirrors designed to keep the votes of ig-nor-ant, gul-lible working people. If you aren't in the 1%, then the GOP does not represent you, and you're being naive if you think they are.

    March 20, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. Ed - Spring, TX

    When half of your party is people who deny evolution and insist on creationism being taught as part of science class you have a problem. The GOP absolutely needs to jettison that part and move to the left some to make up the loss by picking up moderate Democrats who want some fiscal accountability in government, the budget reconciled.

    March 20, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Ctrygrl

    To improve the Republican "crust", they would have to get rid of the "anybody whose skin is dark" haters, the gay haters, the women haters, the poor people haters. Let us face it you get rid of all the haters ie the "flour" all you have left is yeast and water, and just yeast in water eventually dies.

    March 20, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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