March 19th, 2014
09:31 PM ET
6 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. king

    5 years of strident partisanship, attacking everyone that wasnt white and privileged, and now the repubs are talking about broadening their focus, aint that special. they've successfully destroyed universal healthcare after spending billions to fool these backward people that, bankruptcy, dying, and high premium cost is in their best interest. i am some what relieved that obama is dismantling universal healthcare bit by bit, because these people who think they are invincible think they dont need it. all those folks who think they dont need universal healthcare, because they would never lose their corporate jobs, and bad luck is for the other guys, i hope you're being truthful to yourself, because misfortune and bad breaks still exist in this world, hopefully none doesn't befell you.

    March 20, 2014 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  2. BeverlyNC

    The problem is Domino's did change their crust and "brand". Republicans have been talking about "rebranding" for years but have actually become worse in offending every segment of Americans.
    If Republicans think they are going to win any election anytime soon, they are going to quickly find their chances "half-baked" and their "crust" even more stale, old, and no one wanting any piece of it.

    March 20, 2014 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  3. exodus84

    Well he can start with some actual ideas for a change. As it stands this country has a ton of problems from the economy, to jobs, to an insane tax policy, to mass shootings, to being the world police, to a huge national debt, to health care and so on. The GOP have the same ridiculous solutions: more tax cuts, more free trade, more guns, more war, more world interference, less spending but in ways that actually hurt the debt and deficit, and health care as long as youre lucky enough to always be able to afford it. If all of those solutions worked we wouldnt have any of these problems in the first place. Rand Paul is a great politician which basically means he's just another windbag who talks a big game but when it comes time to make real change his vote won't reflect his rhetoric.

    March 20, 2014 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  4. Jake

    No, not "bad crust." ALL crust. Crusty. Old and crusty. All crust and no substance.

    March 20, 2014 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  5. twalk

    More like the entire pizza not just the crust!

    March 20, 2014 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  6. Squincher

    Well, a flake like him would know a lot about crusts.......

    March 20, 2014 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  7. Karl Denton

    Senator Rand Paul should worry more about the level of stupidity oozing from the state of Kentucky considering his state is going to spend $73 million on a "Noah's Ark" theme park to be built by Ken Ham. I find it even more distressing that even aft Bill Nye pleaded with Kentucky not to fall into Ken Ham's trap of denial regarding science, evolution and in fact reality, that they actually steeped up efforts to get funding passed for the incredibly delusional and moronic effort. It once complete will only be topped in those aforementioned categories by the creation museum which also resides in Kentucky. It seems that Forest Gump was right, stupid is as stupid does!

    March 20, 2014 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  8. Loathstheright

    "the Republican Party needs to either evolve, adapt or DIE." Die is the one that would do best for the country. And Rand Paul is still a fake doctor.

    March 20, 2014 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  9. historyspeaks10

    problem is the GOP pizza is rotten to its core. the base flour sucks as does all its toppings and the water to mix the dough is poisonous.

    March 20, 2014 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  10. aatami

    The problem is that if the Republicans are going to change their recipe in order to appeal to the folks that they presently do not appeal to, then they are going to have to taste a lot more like Democrats than I think they are willing to, and then what's the point? The fact is that the people of this country are getting smarter as much as they Republicans hate that idea and people don't like the taste of the 1940's and that's what the republicans are.

    March 20, 2014 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  11. HenryMiller

    "Libertarian-leaning Paul addresses liberal-leaning campus."

    The problem is that, other than modern Republicans, there are few less libertarian than Liberals. Liberals seem to specialise telling people that they're too stupid to run their own lives and then cramming the "right" answer down everyone's throats. (Just as modern Republicans think their religion and "morality" trump everyone's freedoms. I hope Rand Paul can pry them loose from that.)

    March 20, 2014 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  12. steve h

    They aren't evolving or adapting. They are dying and that's a good thing. The people that believe Rand is electable must have some personality trait rooted in blindly believing things despite mountains of evidence....

    March 20, 2014 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  13. T.S.

    I think it'll take more than an analogy about pizza (dude!!!) to appeal to wider swaths of young Americans, especially considering that as soon as he gets on the campaign trail, both the Democrats and his GOP rivals will air out his past statements about how the Civil Rights Act prohibiting businesses from discriminating against its patrons was an infringement upon *their* rights, and thus, wrong. That won't go over well with the young'uns.

    March 20, 2014 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  14. Mel Stricker

    The extreme right, which Rand Paul represents, is anti anyone unless they have money. His new pizza crust would be green and have pictures of dead presidents on it.

    March 20, 2014 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  15. joe

    and Rand Paul's views like his fathers that America is better off not concerning itself with world events could get us all killed..

    March 20, 2014 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  16. Steve

    But domino's still sucks...

    March 20, 2014 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  17. greekguy9999

    It's all a ruse. The Republicans are the modern day Whigs, Know Nothing Party and the Free Soil Party. They were comprised of rich white men and religious uneducated redneck white men, both of whom are now defunct schisms of American society. They hold onto views that were status quo for 1942 and were never able to evolve. And all the lip service Rand Paul and his cronies give the US citizenry cannot change the fact that deep down, they want 1942 to come back around so bad, it pains them at night to know those times are long gone.

    March 20, 2014 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  18. Traci Gilmartin

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

    Frankly I find that statement shocking since it comes from a man who, like his father, does not believe in evolution.

    March 20, 2014 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  19. John Keida

    Obama has been a disappointment. I must admit I voted for him, but, he has left a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe Rand Paul is the way of the future; however, I can't imagine that the GOP establishment will support him. Since Nixon, American presidents have squandered America's competitive advantage under the umbrella of globalization by, among other things, off-shoring manufacturing jobs.I hope things will change.

    March 20, 2014 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  20. kinjirurm

    How's Paul going to square getting rid of government infringement with being anti-choice? How's he going to deflect things like wanting to get rid of Dept of Education?

    March 20, 2014 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  21. steve

    We citizens are attracted to candidates who bring thoughtful ideas about the problems we face. Mr. Paul brings a disdain for government which I don't share. I want someone to talk about how government can help, being methodical and thoughtful about making that come to fruition. Government can't do everything but there are vital things it can do. Let's work on those.

    March 20, 2014 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  22. cplf22

    It would be nice if politicians would stop thinking about themselves and their party, and focus on coming together to serve American citizens.

    March 20, 2014 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  23. Jack Be Humble

    I think the concept of a more centrist GOP is a great one. The problem is that the right leaning GOP will put more effort into defeating a RINO than it will into fighting a Democrat.

    March 20, 2014 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  24. Yeo

    Mr. I don't believe in the civil rights act is all worried about race now and talking about pizza. Pander much?

    March 20, 2014 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  25. mrmanhattan

    Where's the Beef?

    March 20, 2014 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
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