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.

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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. Oscar Madison

    This guy is a maniacal blithering idiot! He's the male version of Sarah Palin, except that he is a plagiarist and a traitor, as well. The guy should be in prison instead of running for Congress/president/whatever.

    March 19, 2014 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  2. Grampa

    The question is, if he got the republican nomination in 2016, would he be able to rise much above that 16%?

    March 19, 2014 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  3. Brian Smith

    I think what he meant to say is the GOP needs to "Evolve", "Adapt", "Change", "Revise", or "Modify"... He didn't really say die, or we would be effectively a single party system.

    March 19, 2014 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  4. yogi

    "the Republican Party needs to either evolve, adapt or die." So in his vision the GOP needs to evolve more towards his extreme views, adapt to them or else...die. There you have the TP vision in a nutshell, either my way or the highway. For the outsider it makes more sense if Paul would change "or die" changes to "and die".

    March 19, 2014 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  5. NeoPrudentist

    Both parties are like stale pizza, and we've tried both too many times. You know what you do with a bad pizza? Throw it out and make a better one yourself. Time we did that with the dems and reps both.

    March 19, 2014 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  6. Jerry

    Thanks CNN for this article. It is enlightening and encouraging!
    This ancient stuff about left vs right / right vs left. My Gosh people get off that crap, there was a time for that left – right bandwagon but things have changed so America lets go, get rid of the debt, quit giving to others (countries) and give to ourselves until we are whole again.

    March 19, 2014 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  7. David Veal

    Did Rand Paul just say the GOP needs a new kind of candidate that will see something wrong with prejudice against minorities in the court system and do something about it, as if the current kind of republican is okay with prejudicial behavior in the court system and of course does nothing about it? Domino's might have made bad crust, but they didn't burn it to a crisp.

    March 19, 2014 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  8. john

    "We need a different kind of party,"

    Read my lips, its the people in the party...........get rid of them.

    BTW, don't waste your energy running against Hillary.

    March 19, 2014 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  9. Jerry

    And one more thing .. Quit degrading the President or following him like he is a deity. He is a human he will make mistakes, but if all the mouths on both sides would PRAY for Mr. O then maybe he will see a little more clearly when he makes decisions!

    March 19, 2014 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  10. Kyle

    This guy has the potential to not only revamp the GOP, but a great potential to bring a much needed check to the executive branch. Come together, Rand Paul 2016!

    March 19, 2014 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Right, but he forgets that even though Domino's changed the crust, they still used terrible sauce, crappy mass-produced cheese, and freeze-dried toppings assembled by incompetent chefs.

    March 19, 2014 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  12. Matt

    Comparing your vision of gvt to an ad campaign. Priceless.

    March 19, 2014 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  13. Steve

    Libertarianism is very untested, and I remain skeptical of it. I strongly prefer it to the intolerant, stuck-in-the-past brand of conservatism the Tea Party stands for, though.

    March 19, 2014 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  14. Dana

    It's funny to hear a member of the crust calling himself bad

    March 19, 2014 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  15. RobertInOhio

    I'm a lifelong 30 year old progressive, and have never voted for a Republican even once. However, I would vote for Rand Paul over any Democratic nominee...if he explains why he is for personal liberties across the board - as am I, but why he then chooses to deny women liberty over their own bodies. I'm not trying to impugn the man, I simply don't see how you can be for one and against the other. If Senator Paul were to reverse that singular position and say that although he personally is against abortion, he realizes true liberty means of the body as well, then he will have my vote. On nearly every other issue I'm in agreement with the man. I've had it with the party system. Personal liberty in all its forms is the only thing that matters, and whoever will defend it shall go far in the 21st century.

    March 20, 2014 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  16. Nodack

    There are two choices, Republicans and Democrats. Evil and too nice.

    March 20, 2014 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  17. fekt

    Boy, what a rebel. What an outsider. What a pioneering maverick. They just don't make em like Rand Paul anymore. Well, except for the other empty suits that like an empty suit hanging on a clothes line bend to whatever direction the wind is blowing.
    You can only be an outsider for 2 terms Rand. After that you're establishment. Also, just being there for less than that doesn't make you an outsider either. Your voting record counts for more than your tired attacks on everyone. It's positively party line the whole way down. Which means you fail. You are business as usual. You are the pizza crust buddy.

    March 20, 2014 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  18. Ken

    Rand Paul is the rancid anchovies on the U.S. political pizzal

    March 20, 2014 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  19. Quixote

    The gop is like a pizza crust made of styrofaom, topped with meal worms, moldy cheese, and spoiled raw hamburger. It does not matter if you put it on a different crust, it will still make you puke.

    March 20, 2014 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  20. Hadenuffyet

    Good luck getting the idea past Grover Norquist.

    March 20, 2014 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  21. belseth

    "Remember when Domino’s finally admitted they had bad crust? Think Republican Party. Admit it; bad crust."

    I'd call it more like a bad anchovy pizza.

    March 20, 2014 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  22. Rogue351

    The Crust is the part of the Pie that hold it all together. Bad crust = Bad pizza. However in this case a bad crust and rotten ingredients add up to the GOP / Tea Party. In other words why buy it ? Or in this case why vote for it. It has to be attributed to the creationist, haters that fear Muslims so much they have actually become just like them. Continued dispute of the teaching of the fact of evolution, relying on "Gods Will" and faith to make decisions for themselves and others. A fascination with guns, killing and power. A deep hatred toward other races. Support of a very defined class system. The poor treatment of woman once again part of many so called Christian beliefs. Romney – Mormon just a short time ago the GOP / Tea Party backed him. 9/11 shaped their fear. What's next the religious police ? Many so called Christian pastors would be all for enforcement of morals under punishment of law. We have seen it in Christian past what makes you think they are not going the same way again.

    March 20, 2014 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  23. Rogue351

    Yes Dominos Pizza is a good model for the GOP / Tea Party. Talk about having to dumb things down so the people of his party can understand it. Let them eat Pizza !

    March 20, 2014 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  24. Jim8

    Pizza isn't good for you too.

    March 20, 2014 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  25. Randall "texrat" Arnold

    I want to believe he means it. I really do.

    March 20, 2014 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
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