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.

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. J Russ

    RobertInOhio
    I don't think he's denying liberty to woman over their bodies, I believe that he believes in liberty for the child.

    March 20, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. radar8

    The Republicans will say anything to get the votes. Once is office it will be business as usual. They will lower taxes for the rich while gutting social programs like healthcare, medicare, social security. The rich will be doing better than before. The poor will be dying in the streets.

    That is your republican party.

    March 20, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Freddie

    If they want my vote, they have to purge their christian agenda. They are just always getting in everyones face with their God stuff. Every time you start thinking about supporting them, their back fighting for prayers in school, bibles in court, you name it.

    March 20, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. NYVeteran

    You can gild poop, but at the end of the day, its still poop.

    March 20, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  5. Joe User

    If Paul succeeds in ridding the GOP of the "crusty" old guard, the Republican party will once again appeal to a wider base. If not, then it's time for a 3 party system with Democrats and Republicans way out on the fringes like they are now and a new party smack dab in the middle.

    March 20, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. itsnotwhatyouknow

    He probably thought he was being extremely witty.

    March 20, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Paul

    Enough with the 1% bashing. The concentration of power and resources allows the accomplishment of great things. Wonderful great things and terrible great things. It all comes back to quote from Stan Lee, "With great power comes great responsibility". or was it Voltaire?

    March 20, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. saftgek

    Unless/until all GOPers have their arrogance, elitism and racism surgically excised, there will be no change.

    The prevailing GOP paradigm is a dangerous, cancerous presence in our society.

    March 20, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. J

    everyone do the world a favor and vote 3rd party liberatian. I love RON PAUL but Rand Paul is not his father and too much R for me

    March 20, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. bill in wasalooski

    Rand Paul likes to paint himself as this outsider in the GOP but he consistently back business as usual legislation. He does absolutely nothing to change the Republican party, reduce the gridlock in DC, or contribute to more bipartisan legislation. The man is a total fraud and a plagiarist.

    March 20, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. 2L

    But the question is: has Domino's improved? I haven't heard anything

    March 20, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. Joe Mama

    Boy I sure do hate how elitist and arrogant and corrupt that other party is. All they do is lie while serving the corporations and the most corrupt wealthy. I sure am glad my party isn't like that. We better re-elect all of the politicians from my party. Otherwise that other party might win. Then things will finally be different!

    March 20, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. quieteye

    Raising the GOP up on bashing and fear stoking of the opponent is far from intelligent and contributes to the nauseating bi-polar dysfunction to what was once a nation that got things done.

    2014 = Clean House & Senate of dysfunction and corruption to restore some of our nation's health and well-being.

    March 20, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. CatSh

    Interesting.
    I was thinking we had 2 groups fighting for power in the GOP. Now I see we have 3 – Tea Party, Establishment, and Libertarian (I guess they just couldn't make it as a separate party).
    If the GOP wins the Senate, there will be fighting on the Capital steps.

    March 20, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    New spin, but same old Republican ideas. Or lack of them.

    March 20, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Insight

    GOP is gone with wind.

    March 20, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. Hex

    It comes down to their over religious nonsense tied in with their "morals" and "values" nonsense. They think they are conservatives, but they sure don't act like it.

    March 20, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Minnesotan

    Bad crust? I think the GOP is more like a rancid bowl of potato salad that's been sitting in the sun all day long. You can change the bowl, but it's still gonna make your bowels explode.

    March 20, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. steve

    yes... the GOP is just like dominoes pizza crust.

    March 20, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Pliny

    The GOP. Selling hate and feat to voters...so they can then do the bidding of the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.

    March 20, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. WritingOnTheWall

    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."

    March 20, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. whys333

    I want pizza!

    March 20, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. 'Nother-Son-'O-Ursus_Rexx

    Re: "…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."

    Extending Rand Paul’s pizza metaphor, just a wee bit…

    In 20912 I purchased, (voted, for), a pizza, with some or all the toppings, requested.
    The other pizza delivery showed me their menu;

    However, while I like pizza, swirling that pizza, ‘round the pizza-facilities’ men’s room, prior to delivery, (aka, the superficial piety / overt / covert bigotry / display of wanton violence for corporate economic gain via imaginary national security threats), kinda takes the ‘appetizing’ out of whatever food I purchase.

    Rand Paul & I have something in common…

    As you can imagine…
    I have few, if any, realistic possibilities of being the next pope, (not that I have any desire for such a dubious distinction), as I left the R.C.C. in the mid-1960’s.

    I have NEVER been a cleric, closeted / horny OR otherwise…although I briefly became interested post ‘Thomas Merton’.

    I entered the NeoPagan faith, shortly thereafter.
    Rand Paul / the prolife-party has the same 2014 – 2016 elective prospects, I have…
    At, (the next), conclave.

    BTW: I can’t speak for the next U.S. President, (Clinton &/or Biden), but…
    I have this amusing image in my head…
    Mrs. Clinton, as she kneels to say her nightly prayers, has an image-list of ALL current republican-hopefuls…Paul, Huckabe, Palin, Akin, J. Bush, Ryan, Romney, Santorum, Perry, Christie…
    (is there anyone I overlooked???)…pass, by, as she communes...

    …She ends that prayers-session imploring her Deity, (or Deities), with one word: “YES!!”

    March 20, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Li

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

    Says the teabagger who thinks discrimination should be legal. Sorry, Randy, but you will never be President.

    March 20, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. Dave

    It's not just the crust. Republicans are what you get when the cheapest ingredients are used and you hire the lowest skilled worker to toss them together, all because you hate your customers.

    March 20, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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