(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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.