March 19th, 2014
09:31 PM ET
7 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.

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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. smc

    Unfortunately Rand Paul isn't really a libertarian, just another fake "conservative".

    March 19, 2014 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  2. Mike

    The more I listen to Rand Paul, the more I like him.

    March 19, 2014 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  3. Jeff6187

    Despite Rand's call to broaden the GOP's base, and renew itself (yawn), he's more "old guard conservative" than most of them. It just highlights the GOP's lack of grasp of reality. All he really means is the tired old "let me say something big and bright and shiny so you'll vote for me. The details will be in the fine print later."

    March 19, 2014 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  4. SBP

    He just doesn't have what it takes. Sorry.

    March 19, 2014 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  5. Dave

    The topping is bad, too.

    March 19, 2014 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  6. hohotai

    The fringe of the party, which includes Paul, thinks that trading bland crust for a zippy anchovie and raw garlic topping is just the thing that party needs!

    March 19, 2014 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  7. C Dawg

    Might be the first time I ever vote Republican. Also, the first time in 8 years I may not vote strictly 3rd parties.

    March 19, 2014 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  8. Juergen

    Don't talk about substance, Paul. Go ahead and pander to your audience. Got a plan, Ran?

    March 19, 2014 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  9. Breaking Good

    "the Republican Party needs to either evolve, adapt or die." ... but I thought republicans were against all those things with the latter being their "go-to line".

    March 19, 2014 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  10. Mr. Balls

    <I<The best was to get rid of the bad crust is to get rid of Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and the rest of the Tea Party.

    March 19, 2014 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  11. TM

    Yes, the Grand Old Tea Party has a problem. But is not just that their crust is stale. Their sauce is weak, their toppings are rancid, and all they can muster in the face of serious problems are cheesy one-liners.

    March 19, 2014 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  12. JT

    Bad crust indeed. But a rancid Rand Pauleroni topping will be worse.

    March 19, 2014 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  13. from teapot dome to teabags, Grand Old Punks

    close the pizza shop for the health code violations.
    Let them dumpster dive for a healthier meal.

    March 19, 2014 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  14. from teapot dome to teabags, Grand Old Punks

    >We need a different kind of party,"

    how can you do that and keep the fascists, kooks, and crooks in the mix?

    March 19, 2014 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  15. Bubba

    Rand Paul is Hillary's best friend. He will peel just enough votes from the GOP to ensure a Hillary win, and the GOPoop deserve it.

    March 19, 2014 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  16. TJeff1776

    The Repubs have lost the war on Obamacare regardless of the so-called propaganda polls set forth by the health industry. Obama need ONLY set back for the next two years and allow the good times to roll.

    March 19, 2014 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  17. bandjammer

    And Rand is the Anchovie. Rotten Anchovie.

    March 19, 2014 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  18. Really?

    "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."

    lol, it speaks the absolute disconnect that CNN has if it thinks that PIZZA ANALOGIES are the only thing that millennial will focus on. How about the fact that this guy just explained that the government on both sides is utterly full of crap when it comes to the rule of law?

    THAT'S the appeal. NOT pithy soundbites, like "Believe in America" or "Forward."

    March 19, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  19. oharris30

    I don't believe him, can't teach an old dog new tricks. Rand Paul will say anything to win. wasn't he the one who said businesses don't have to serve Blacks?

    March 19, 2014 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  20. i'm impressed

    i like you rand, but just be careful about playing the race card frivolously. keep fighting the good fight.

    March 19, 2014 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  21. Ed B

    Yeah. Rand Paul is right on this one. The GOP needs to re-invent itself and dump the crackpots from the party, like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Probably Chris Christie, too.

    March 19, 2014 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  22. svann

    Give out free pizza. That will win you a LOT of votes.
    You're welcome.

    March 19, 2014 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  23. regenesis0

    What the GOp really needs is new doners because the billionaires are the ones dictating that the party adopt a policies that alienate new voters. Until you change the doners you can't really appeal to voters because the GOP is a bought party lock, stock and barrel.
    They don't neednewleadership they need new ownership.

    March 19, 2014 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  24. Eric in Arlington

    Oh, Rand... What color is the sky in your little world?

    March 19, 2014 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  25. Mike from CO

    The thing with Dominos pizza crust – it got better.

    The thing with Republicans – they think they can win by being worse.

    Face it, if America will pick a moderate Democrat over a moderate Republican, what makes you think a radically conservative Republican can win?

    March 19, 2014 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
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