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. Chukch

    Mr Paul pushing for less government and taxes is just another advantage for the wealthy. Giving more power to the States will be a renewal of racial tension. This gentleman seek the vote of minorities, women, and young is solely for election votes. The Republican party use of information is untrustworthy and a huge disservice to us as the voting public.

    March 20, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. Tony

    Stop offering bad pizzas, Republicans. Offer better pizzas. By the way, hiring minorities to deliver bad pizzas won't help your outreach to minorities. The pizzas are still bad.

    March 20, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Gail

    I voted for his Dad. His Dad is pro choice. I'm assuming he is too. But I'm stuck with the GOP since they're the only ones defending our gun rights.. and at least they talk about low taxes. Obamacare stinks but the GOP should have done something about healthcare before it came to this. Obama is way too weak on foreign policy and he wants to take our guns away. Both parties bailed out the banks with taxpayer money. Also I stand with the GOP on stopping illegal immigration, though I'm not sure if they can do anything or even if they truly want to. I hate them for bailing out banks but refusing to extend unemployment to the nation's unemployed. Also too many bible thumpers and they don't seem to care about animal protection in any way, shape or form. Obama hates whites. So I don't care for either party but I'm stuck with GOP over guns and immigration.

    March 20, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. yogi

    And so the 2016 GOP clown bus is filling up, and all the clowns are happily singing the song they love the most" NO NO NO and NO NO NO, and more NO NO, on their way to the land of oblivion.

    March 20, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. WritingOnTheWall

    what a stupid article, cnn. here's what Paul Rand said of importance, which you left out fo the story.

    Paul invoked the misdeeds of America's intelligence agencies during the civil-rights movement to make his case for restraint today.
    "I find it ironic that the first African-American president has, without compunction, allowed this vast exercise of raw power from the NSA," Paul said. "Certainly, J. Edgar Hoover's illegal spying on Martin Luther King and others in the civil-rights movement should give us all pause."

    care to address?

    March 20, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. WritingOnTheWall

    cnn. here's what Paul Rand said of importance, which you left out fo the story.

    Paul invoked the misdeeds of America's intelligence agencies during the civil-rights movement to make his case for restraint today.
    "I find it ironic that the first African-American president has, without compunction, allowed this vast exercise of raw power from the NSA," Paul said. "Certainly, J. Edgar Hoover's illegal spying on Martin Luther King and others in the civil-rights movement should give us all pause."

    care to address?

    March 20, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  7. ritmocojo

    Same monkeys, different tree.

    March 20, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. B.

    Most Americans have now witnessed the total destruction that is caused by Republican Governors that took over after the last elections.

    They are what my kids generation refer to as" Haters" and are taking this country back to the previous century with all of the Hate and bigotry that we all hoped was in the past.

    The GOP is just basically bad pizza all around.

    March 20, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Larry38363

    It's people exactly like Paul Rand, etc. that have ruined the Republican Party! Freedom for everyone that thinks like I do; no taxes for the rich; screw the poor and disabled; and, NOT a government of the People; By the People; and, For the People; but, just him and his tea party cronies.

    March 20, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Um, excuse me, but

    You KNOW this is BS, right?

    March 20, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Bytemeagain

    The GOP will never change. When you have so-called gay (Log Cabin Republicans) who are more than willing to vote against their own interests and go along with the bigoted, narrow-minded, elitist views of the GOP, that's the ultimate in self-hatred. I don't see the GOP changing anytime soon.

    March 20, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |

    HILARIOUS watching Guns Over People tea potty bumpkin wingnuts walk the plank toward another November. Keep talking
    like Mitt the twit did Rand.

    March 20, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. mikeinthevine

    Actually, the GOP is like what becomes of pizza crust after it's been consumed and digested.

    March 20, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. stevetaller

    "Evolve, adapt, or die"? OK. The Republican Party, as a serious political organization interested in governing our country in a fair, equitable, and American way, died a long time ago. Rand Paul is a good example. He hates big government, hates the federal government, and is a favorite of people who prefer no government at all. This bonehead has helped to obstruct the natural evolution of the American political process that has progressed with the times until just recently. Yeah, Writing on the Wall. I'll address your point. The NSA was in operation long before Obama became president, and you traded your concern for unconstitutional internal security measures when you supported Bush's Patriot Act. Snap out of it, numbskull.

    March 20, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. George

    I want to give Sen. Paul the benefit of the doubt and think that he sincerely believes what he is saying about being more inclusive, but even if he does, what makes him think the GOP establishment or the people who vote Republican traditionally will embrace it. As for his conservative views about smaller government, I tend to think that it sounds great for voters when they're paying their taxes, but when the people in power allow the economy to implode every dozen years or so, it's a reality that government has to be there to soften the blow for the public and for business in general. If not, the president risks the reputation that kicked Hoover out of office.

    March 20, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. wakeup


    Possibly – but then if you took White haters, men haters, Christian, and hetro-sexual haters out of the Democrats, I would say you have the same thing.

    March 20, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. And Rand

    The GOP ain't changing the crust...they're changing the graphics on the pizzabox.

    March 20, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. beastwork

    Talking differently is a great first step...However republicans cannot have my vote until the actually "act" differently. I'm all for smaller government, but unfortunately republicans are notorious for not understanding the needs of anyone whose last name isn't "INC."

    March 20, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. rc roeder

    The problem is that bad pizza crust usually means the rest of the ingredients are of poor quality to.

    March 20, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. And Rand

    @ Writing...nice how andrand brought race into the race. The NSA, CIA has been doing this crap forever. Likely they will continue to. I don't like a lot of it, but I also don't like radicals with explosives. I don't know where the balance is, but there has to be some.

    March 20, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. CAW

    If you stop with the religion and abortion crap, I'll be glad to lean your way for more conservative spending.

    March 20, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. bill dunn

    Rands toupe is as fake as most of the cheese they're putting on pizzas these days.

    March 20, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. Mr_Anderson

    Shy don't they STOP trying to hurt people on purpose (kill medicare, obama care, cuts to ss, abortion ....shal i go on)- that may go along way.

    March 20, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Hogarth

    The Republican party already has "evolved". It evolved from a reasonable group of fiscally conservative, patriotic citizens into a ravening mob of yahoos, characterized by the likes of Ted Cruz and, yes, this guy.

    March 20, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  25. columbus

    I like Paul's gesture of waking up the GOP to the realities of politics in 2014, but I am bothered that he feels he must change the GOP rather than run as a third party. I tells you that Washington like things just the way they are and isn't going to let anything interfere with their operation. Short of a revolution, get used to business as usual.

    March 20, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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