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. tonyb

    now there's a deep thinker.....please be the nominee....please.....

    March 20, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. MoeD

    Independent and voted for Obama but am soooo PO’ed with his continued policy of hand-outs for deadbeats. You see it every single day here in Detroit! What we need is a return to the FRD days and “Work Programs” where benefits were tied directly towards some sort of work or community service. The politician that pulls that off has my vote! Rand Pual sounds like a breath of fresh air, maybe

    March 20, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Duke

    One thing is strue – crappy crust, crappy pizza. Unfortunately for the GOP, simply claiming you have a better crust doesn't make it so – so far we have tried your new crust and if anything it is either the same or worse depending in the franchise owner. a Cruz pie, with it's typically thick, gummy, half-baked crust is a crust, noly a few people like – and then the franchise owner calls us names if we don't agree to eat ti anyway.

    A buddy used to say there is no such thing as bad pizza, some of it is just better than others.

    Nope some pizza is pure crap. period.

    My buddy was a GOP believer, too

    March 20, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Ngau Hu Phart

    Too negative, too radical, too focused on the 1%...

    March 20, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Sunburst

    When your party has gone so far to the right,
    you can no longer see the center.
    Blame the Dems for being on the left.

    March 20, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. Treebeard


    Independent and voted for Obama but am soooo PO’ed with his continued policy of hand-outs for deadbeats. You see it every single day here in Detroit! What we need is a return to the FRD days and “Work Programs” where benefits were tied directly towards some sort of work or community service. The politician that pulls that off has my vote! Rand Pual sounds like a breath of fresh air, maybe

    Every state has a work program for people on welfare, that is up to the state.
    Nice of you to blame Obama, FAIL !!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 20, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Woody's Hay


    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.
    maybe someone mistook polite applause while people were leaving as a "standing ovation" ...

    March 20, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. Socrates

    Changing the crust on a dog-poo pizza doesnt make it any tastier

    March 20, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. New England Independent

    Rand is just a Neo-Con in Libertarian clothing. If you listen closely to what he says and his actual platforms he's no different than the rank and file, him (and his anonymous donor list) want to be in charge of DC. Sorry Rand, you are not as libertarian as your daddy.

    March 20, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Woody's Hay

    Gotta laugh about the poster who wanted to split into two countries and have "the north pay for the poor".

    Thank you. NASA, out of Texas & Florida. Military goes with the Country, so likely no U.S. protection of Newdumbistan. Access to the largest bodies of fresh water in the world, denied. Are you counting California in with Newdumbistan as well as Texas/Florida/Alabama/Mississippi, etc? Bye bye Hollywood $$$.

    Out – Wall Street & most of the capital centers.

    Bye bye federal patroling of the waters for Florida, coast of Texas ...

    Bye bye to all the gold in Ft. Knox. You think the U.S. is going to just let that go?

    Maybe Mexico would re-absorb Texas, you can sit there and try to fend them off with your militia, not the U.S. armed forces.

    Enjoy the college-level football, as long as it lasts ... the "not for profit" NFL will follow where the U.S. dollars are ... maybe they'll take the Confederate script ... as toilet paper.

    March 20, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. MoeD


    Every state has a work program for people on welfare, that is up to the state.
    Nice of you to blame Obama, FAIL !!!!!!!!!!!!


    Either way, if Paul's willing to put some strict restrictions on all those handouts im paying for.....he gets my vote!

    March 20, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Incredulous45

    If the other ingredients are not good, changing the crust will not help.

    March 20, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. RettasVegas

    A wee bit more going on wrong with the GOP than "bad pizza crust" Paul, be honest with us now..
    If your the most moderate (lol) that the GOP can offer voter's in 2016, your chance's of winning is ZIP.
    I ran from the GOP in 2008 hoping it would find it's way back sooner than later to becomming moderate enough to work with ANY sitting prez. of EITHER party, remember the MAJORITY voted that Prez in, and the Congress has failed (time and time again) the MAJORITY of American's that I have finally given up on them & their 1%.
    Independent voter- fed up with the extreme's in the GOP!

    March 20, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. American

    Now we know what Rand Paul eats on a regular basis. The perfect compliment to sitting around in his boxers drinking PBR.

    And the GOP doesn't need an update. It needs a lobotomy.

    March 20, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. capnmike

    The GOP is actually more like an old rotten fish. Nothing these rich bums, obstructionists, elitists, racists, and bible-whackers can do will make them any more palatable, at least not to decent people who actually care about anything other than their selfish little selves. .

    March 20, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. blakenaustin

    I embrace Paul's fiscal conservativsm. However, his libertarianism puts him further left than the Democrats on social issues. This is not good for the GOP. We need a true conservative (fiscal and social) leading the charge for the GOP.

    March 20, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Kenneth Newman

    Its NOT just the crust, its the entire pizza!!!

    March 20, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Todd C

    Rand characterizes the ethical black hole that is the GOP. Exhibit 1 is his "board certification", exhibit 2 is his rampant plagiarism. (For those who aren't familiar, Rand invented his own medical board with his wife and relatives and certified himself as an ophthalmologist.)

    March 20, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. elle

    When the Republican Party can come up with a plan, I am all ears. Right now, all I can envision is Reagonomics and Maggie Thatcher. Yeppers, that will help this country.

    March 20, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. Demetrios

    Paul needs to be taken serious! I myself who is a registered nurse and millions of nurses across america who backed Obama in 08 and 12 ( worst president in U.S History) are in agreement to elect anyone but a Dumocrat! People are fed up with CHANGE! CNN and other bias news networks will be surprised when Hillary doesn't win the election. People are starting to wake up. People want America back!!!
    ANYONE but Hillary 2016!!!!!

    March 20, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Church of Suicidal

    Ron and Rand Paul are definitely not Pro-Choice. Don't believe me? Check their official websites under the issues tab.

    March 20, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    New generation republicans at their best. Two top candidates riding their daddy's coattails. Rand Paul to Ted Cruz: my daddy's bigger than your daddy. "Is not". "Is too". "Is not".

    March 20, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. JeanneLH

    This is what the GOP have done this year...

    March 20, 2014 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Marc

    Interesting analogy. Particularly in light of the fact that Dominoes pizza still tastes like shyte.

    March 20, 2014 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    obama worst prez? and what was W???

    March 20, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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