March 19th, 2014
09:31 PM ET
5 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. pleazenufalready

    Someone who is a true social-conservative can't possibly support a Libertarian without looking like a hypocrite. Libertarians, by definition, are not concerned about same-sex marriage or women's reproductive rights....remember, their motto is "government, butt out!" ....that means for all things, not just those that the Repubs pick and choose.

    March 20, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. jack

    he wants to limit government and he trying to appeal to the people that government help the most. he is the one that disagreed with the civil rights laws and various other laws that promise equality.

    March 20, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. Mike81

    Rand Paul is a breath of fresh air into the Republican Party. Having lived on all 3 coasts in the US and in two countries in Europe, I have seen the good and the bad of differing political views. In my opinion, both parties need to change. The mainsteam Democrats, which could be argued are radically to the left now that Obama has pushed through his agenda, wage a war of propaganda against the Republicans. Their main weapon, name calling. Let's make evryone think Republicans are radical, especially Libertarians or Tea Party. The Republicans aren't much better with their antiquated social agendas. I would love to see something happen in this country similar to what recently happended in England when the Conservatives and Lib Dems joined together to push Labor out of power, but that is not possible with a two party system. All that we can hope for is that somebody like Rand Paul will change one of the parties from within. Obama sure hasn't done that with his party, and our country desperately needs to get someone else in office ASAP.

    March 20, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. Blake

    What is not stated here is that the liberal crowd at UC Berkeley gave the libertarian leaning Senator a standing ovation.

    March 20, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. BobFromPA

    This guy is a masterful politician and I have to say he has my interest but not my vote, yet. And I am a VERY disenchanted Republican who thinks the party need a lobotomy to get the kooks out and out now starting with Cruz

    March 20, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. Solomon Walker

    That campaign was well over two years ago, Paul.

    These are men whose gimpy attempts at jokes keeps America poor. If they really wish to become stand-up comedians and perform live on the Tonight Show – then that is where they ought to be – not portraying themselves as national leaders.

    This entire recitation was a waste of time to the publisher and the reader/viewer.

    Mr. Paul – you will not become the next president of the United States.
    I guarantee it.

    March 20, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. Church of Suicidal

    Gail – you meant Ron and Rand Paul were Pro-Birth, right? You didn't actually believe they were for reproductive rights did you?

    March 20, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. rs

    Blake

    What is not stated here is that the liberal crowd at UC Berkeley gave the libertarian leaning Senator a standing ovation.
    _______________________
    That's called good manners. Something the Right could learn.

    March 20, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. Mark

    The GOP didn't triple my insurance costs. The democrats did

    March 20, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. charles

    OK Listen up...this isn't that complicated. I will consider voting republican as soon as you GET OUT OF MY BEDROOM.

    March 20, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. Common sense

    Rand Paul is the only candidate willing to protect our freedoms because he actually respects the constitution. He's got my vote.

    March 20, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    "All that we can hope for is that somebody like Rand Paul will change one of the parties from within. Obama sure hasn't done that with his party, and our country desperately needs to get someone else in office ASAP."

    LOL. Rand Paul: Hope and Change Republican style.

    March 20, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. sftommy

    GOP lacks the moral imperative, same thing with Randy here.

    March 20, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Cynic

    The Republican party used to talk about their Big Tent. Paul's right; the party can't exist with just Bible thumpers, bigots and rich white men.

    March 20, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. RCM

    The GOP is stuck centuries in the past

    March 20, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. bspurloc

    but the gop way is to look at all your faults and say u r fine its the democrats that has all those faults.
    so why are they trying to "FIX" anything when its the democrats that need to "FIX" anything.

    March 20, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. bspurloc

    There u go... phew... exactly its all the democrats fault! I knew it!
    never mind the democrats have moved SO FAR LEFT that reagan would be seen as a democrat today...
    I love this complete denial point finger at other logic. Keep it up!! dont change! hugs and kisses.

    Mike81

    Rand Paul is a breath of fresh air into the Republican Party. Having lived on all 3 coasts in the US and in two countries in Europe, I have seen the good and the bad of differing political views. In my opinion, both parties need to change. The mainsteam Democrats, which could be argued are radically to the left now that Obama has pushed through his agenda, wage a war of propaganda against the Republicans. Their main weapon, name calling. Let's make evryone think Republicans are radical, especially Libertarians or Tea Party. The Republicans aren't much better with their antiquated social agendas. I would love to see something happen in this country similar to what recently happended in England when the Conservatives and Lib Dems joined together to push Labor out of power, but that is not possible with a two party system. All that we can hope for is that somebody like Rand Paul will change one of the parties from within. Obama sure hasn't done that with his party, and our country desperately needs to get someone else in office ASAP.

    March 20, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Rand Paul is a 50 year old playing high school theatrics. Add that he is also a 50 year old play acting his anti-establishment rhetoric and republicans are ready to run Rand Paul on his newly emerging sea change credentials? Dude's going to change the Grand Old Party, huh? Psst -- Paul groupies. He is ONE OF the establishment. As was his dad.

    March 20, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Whatever

    All spin. He's only trying to appeal to these voters because he knows without them Republicans won't see the inside of the White House for a long time, if ever again. It isn't your pizza crust, it's your ideology and lack of loyalty to the American people. Republicans do not serve the majority and THIS is why their party is dying off.

    March 20, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Grumpster

    Bad crust, dough, ingredients, broken oven, terrible employees, awful management style, horrid location, no cash flow, wishy-washy mission statement....it is bad from every angle.

    March 20, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Gail

    Church, yes, Ron Paul was pro choice. His son is either the same or perhaps he had to go anti abortion for the bible thumpers. NOt sure his son's stance. The bible thumpers keep the party militant anti choice. I'm pro life, of course, most people prefer life, but I support choice. as do many Repubs. I'm sure he means well . But the bible thumpers have to be placated. I wish they would cut them loose. They would not vote for anyone who was prochoice. I don't know what to do with them. They keep the party stuck. but the Dems seem just as militant and so many wingnuts too. Repubs need a heart. Dems need a brain.

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

    So are they going to stop trying to limit women's reproductive choices; adopt immigration reform; help the middle class instead of the top 1%; and stop pandering to the NRA and evangelical crowd? Or is it just more talk?

    March 20, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. Gail

    I don't see any brighter comments on here as on a GOP website. Hate and more hate. If you disagree, you hate them and spin a story about them. and you call them haters. Both parties are full of hate. These are inane meaningless comments based on emotion and knee jerk reactions is mostly what I see here. Dumb comments about bad pizza. This site will call me a Right Wing extremist, that side will call me a Liberal Communist. I guess it's a lost cause. Both sides are so blind to their own flaws.

    March 20, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. Pen Westshire

    The Fed (private central banks) and normal banks create ALL money in this country. They are very likely enriching themselves while making the rest of us less wealthy. Rand Paul is just about the only one that really wants to put an end to this with regular audits. I voted for Obama but I will vote for him next go round because of this.

    If people understood how truly evil the money creation mechanism is they would support ideas like bitcoin more. Bitcoin is NOT perfect. It is better than everything before it though because no one can simply print more money. You have to provide real services to hold onto your money.

    The best case scenario is as new money is created, it is handed out to everyone equally. This accounts for Keynesian theory possibly being right AND maintains a fair money creation policy.

    This is the biggest problem in the world right now and why there is such as huge gap between the rich and the poor.

    March 20, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. bearitstrong

    So, he actually offers no plan/path to re-invent the GOP? How daring!

    March 20, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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