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. Earl

    If the GOP were Domino's, they keep the same bad crust and just give it a different name. I'm so tired of hearing Republicans talk about how bad their party is or how much they need to change, only to see them turn around and not really even attempt any meaningful change. Instead they just try to re-market and repackage all the things people hated before and call that change.

    March 20, 2014 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  2. Marie MD

    Good try randy but your party still thinks of pregnant women as "hosts" and losing all their rights at women when pregnant. The teaklans don't think gays should marry, your party took away food stamps from poor children, seniors and veterans and you allow faux news to continue to lie about what you can or CAN'T buy with food stamps.
    Your party tried to steal the 2012 election but you found out that money can't buy the US.
    Those liberal kids were being polite. I don't see UC Berkeley changing their minds and voting for a teaklan whose idea of racism are still stuck in the pre 60s Civil Rights Bill pretending he cares about others "not like him".
    "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." YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM!!!

    March 20, 2014 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  3. salty dog

    They are a particularly repulsive bunch, that's agreed .

    March 20, 2014 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  4. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    HILARIOUS watching Guns Over People tea potty bumpkin wingnuts walk the plank toward another November. Keep talking like Mitt the twit did Rand.

    March 20, 2014 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  5. doh

    Anyone find his statement "the war on drugs has had a racial outcome", racist? Did he dip his big toe in the shineola?

    March 20, 2014 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  6. The Right Left

    To use Paul's Domino Pizza analogy, Dominos just did not change the print on their box nor the box to improve their pizza. They took the bad crust and threw out it, replacing it with a better crust. The problem with Paul and the GOP is that they talk the talk, change lettering on their box, change the contour of their box but never go after the bad crust that is inside the box. When will he challenge all the racists, bigots and religious intolerants in his party – THE REALLY BAD CRUST and toss them out? When will he stand up to Rush, Glenn and Fox that make this party taste and smell so terrible?

    March 20, 2014 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  7. I AM

    He just doesn't know how to make friends.

    March 20, 2014 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  8. Tampa Tim

    The GOP is more like meadow muffins or road apples. Although I just read they are coming out with a healthcare plan that may allow students to stay on their parents insurance plan. While it may be difficult for baggers to support any health reform, it is a start. Then the GOP can work on eliminating life time caps, allowing people with preexisting conditions to get health care, put money into actual care, and reduce costs, just like Obamacare. After 5 years, the bottom line is, republicans have nothing.

    March 20, 2014 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  9. t

    ....Come ON, Rand..........these people simply NEVER WANT TO CHANGE..............

    March 20, 2014 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  10. Keith

    I notice he didn't mention homosexuals or women. I wonder if his desire to keep government out of our private lives extends to those two groups and the considerable strife traditionally inflicted upon them by the Republican party?

    March 20, 2014 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  11. Gurgyl

    Didn't I tell cook job? I pity to these republican idiots. I am ashamed of GOP into to.

    March 20, 2014 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  12. MC55

    I never thought I would agree with a Republican but he's correct... the GOP is going to die a slow, lingering death if they continue to hold on to their uncompromising, mean-spirited, pro-rich, anti-progressive policies that people in this country (especially women, the poor and middle class and minorities) do not want. I'm not sure how they achieve this since it would require a wholesale change in their platform and given that Democrats have already staked out the correct positions on most every issue. Putting country first and party second would be a good first step.

    March 20, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  13. Norma Vessels

    I haven't noticed any improvement in the Republican party. Quite the contrary, they've only gotten worse.

    March 20, 2014 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    --veracity is that Pizza is spoiled by Bush two Un-necessary Wars, Reagan Trickle-down cheating. Reagan brainlessly thought rich will invest on American soil–instead they took Tax-evaded money and invested in China, India, Mexico etc. What a brainless idea. Yes, today, America is recuperating from their blows.

    March 20, 2014 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  15. Winston5

    Or you could just split the party so it can die a natural death. Hello, Whigs!

    March 20, 2014 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  16. veep

    Mr. Paul is ignoring his Party's role in:

    "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? "

    & they have NO intention of EVER giving it up.
    That's what the code word "Traditional America" is all about.

    Pick one Rand, you can't play to both audiences.

    March 20, 2014 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  17. okiejoe

    Bad pizza crust? More like spoiled meat, it stinks.

    March 20, 2014 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  18. sasquatch

    I cannot imagine this political gargoyle in the White House.

    March 20, 2014 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    The social issues of the religious right, can no longer be the focus of the GOP, if it is to survive.

    March 20, 2014 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  20. salty dog

    Bad crust, with rotten meat, and moldy cheese

    March 20, 2014 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  21. bob smith

    the GOP is like a bad crusty. it is old and stale. it is out of ideas. It is the party of No, No, No. the GOP offers nothing to anyone unless your white, male, and earning over 250k a year. then you get everything handed to you on a silver platter. why would anyone who doesn't meet those requirements vote for the GOP I don't know. the GOP are not fiscally conservative, they are not morally conservative. They spend more money than they take in, They tell women they are second class citizens.

    March 20, 2014 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  22. PtBarnumBoy

    I guess Rand thinks all young people are drug users?? His pizza crust is still pretty bad.

    March 20, 2014 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  23. PR

    Don't usually agree with him but on this issue I do. The Republicans need to wake up and quit being the party of the angry, white, rich men and start being more inclusive or they will become a minority real fast.

    March 20, 2014 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  24. salty dog

    I wasn't a fan until he said pizza crust, now I'm just smitten, they really do think your stupid. The néw gop, let me guess, jobs, jobs, jobs, get real, their more hateful than ever.

    March 20, 2014 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  25. salty dog

    This guy doesn't pass gas without first poll testing it, that means he's only interested in telling you what you want to hear, he would never act on it. He's simply looking for the right lie, does anyone believe the gop has or will change, the more they talk, the harder it is to vote for them.

    March 20, 2014 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
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