March 19th, 2014
09:31 PM ET
5 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. MightyMoo

    I thought politicians in general were all bad pizza crust bought out by the highest campaign donner?

    March 20, 2014 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  2. mcp123

    ...and the GOP... like Dominos.... will fail.

    March 20, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  3. Swedge70

    One of the few things he's completely right about. I don't think he has any real answers, but he's certainly right about the problem.

    March 20, 2014 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  4. Wake up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Does this guy ever work? Or is he just like Christy and Cruz, constantly campaigning???
    He also seems rather uppity to me.

    March 20, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  5. Anonymous

    "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."

    Using a pizza analogy while addressing the Berkeley crowd? Yeah, that'll do it. On another note, we've been told for 6 years now that the junior senator from Illinois Barack Obama was too inexperienced for the job he now holds. Less than 5 years ago, Rand Paul was an optometrist milking medicare. Today he sees himself as leader of the free world. Chickens coming home to roost in the republican crowd? Cruz and Paul: trying to undo 5 years of anti-Obama rhetoric by putting themselves on top of the compost heap of hypocrisy.

    March 20, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. mickinmd

    "...Paul, a high-profile conservative figure..."

    This is WRONG. The media keeps telling us these extremists are "conservative." They are NOT Conservative. They would not welcome Bob Dole to speak at a GOP Convention today and Dole tells us they would not welcome Ronald Reagan either.

    The extemists have, with the media's help, shifted the definition of "Conservative" to mean extremist-right and Centrists or mild-Conservatives are now called "Liberal" or "Socialist" – which is what Ronald Reagan would be called by them today.

    But the core of the GOP's membership has shown in the last two elections they don't want a Santorum, Huckabee, Perry, etc. They want a REAL Conservative like McCain or Romney. Unfortunately, the last two had to bow down to the far-right in order to maintain chances of election but note how many called both of them "Democrats in GOP Clothing."

    The truth is that Paul, Santorum, etc. are American Nazi Party members in GOP Clothing. They don't want any compromise even though Democracy requires compromise. As two former GOP Governors, Jeb Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger said on separate occasions, the GOP needs to learn that 'compromise' is not a dirty word. THE Paul's, Santorum's, etc. are what makes the "bad crust" of the Party. As Bob Dole said, "The GOP needs to be closed for repairs."

    March 20, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  7. bcw

    When will the government (Fed and State) truely embraces the separation of Church and State. Please stop them using religions to oppress people.

    March 20, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. Dave - Phx

    People like him are the reason the party has "bad crust". Frothing at the mouth with insane ideas is not going to help your cause.

    March 20, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. HEYDUDE

    The sheep need to read the news and see how their gods are running the place. Seems like they are constantly in the news for "its not working the way we said".

    March 20, 2014 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. Rosslaw

    Good comparison to pizza crust. Paul has filed a suit re: the NSA-does he know he's a US Senator? Does he understand that he has already voted on legislation on the NSA which he could seek to tighten with amendments? But I guess going the US Senatorial route would require real work instead of a vague dislike for a government that he, his father and his family have lived off for two generations.

    March 20, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. sbul

    It's not their "appeal" – the crust, that's the problem it's their policies – the pizza that's the problem.

    March 20, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. amber

    The GOP is nutz. Rand Paul is too – just a different mix of nutz. Think about how loopy somebody would have to be to buy into their ideas.

    March 20, 2014 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  13. Chris Cornelius

    You can't have it both ways. You want Americans to be protected from(Evil Doers) but you want privisey. Just like Obamacare you criticize, but you have no answers. Giving the rich tax breaks and criticizing the less fortunate and just saying no doesn't cut it.

    March 20, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  14. Anonymous

    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;
    -----------

    If you think Obama has been a disappointment, you ought to rethink your confidence in newbie Rand Paul. Paul won't be able to accomplish any more than Obama has managed to accomplish. Far less when you add in his tinfoil hat ideology.

    March 20, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. ghostwriter

    Crusty the Clown....don't mess around....even though the Man....tries to keep him down.....

    March 20, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  16. floyd from illinois

    The GOP can analyse its failings all it wants, as even they have recognized they must.

    It means nothing unless they actually change their recipe, which they have so far shown no sign of doing. What they've done so far is analogous to improving delivey time and using a more attractive carton.

    March 20, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  17. Ed - Spring, TX

    Unfortunately, the GOP is a dinosaur. Their members just haven't realized it yet. If they don't wake up to the new America then the GOP will go the way of the dinosaur, and none too soon.

    March 20, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  18. s

    I haven't voted Republican in decades now and I generally am not a supporter or Mr. Paul. I do welcome what he is saying, there have been mistakes in the past and its time to clean them up. I do want to see a functioning Republican party even if its only to keep the Democrats on their best game.

    March 20, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Rant's idea of "limited government" is code for letting corporations and individuals do whatever they want without consequence. Fine for the bullies with money and connections; not so great for the rest of us.

    Want to see what dog-eat-dog looks like in reality? Go live in a third-world country. If you're lucky enough to be born into a family of means, great. If not? You're screwed.

    March 20, 2014 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. HZ

    Most Republicans can't stop themselves from talking down to minorities & women or usingt hem as scapegoats for things. They need to renounce that behavior and stop doing it for starters. Secondly they need to actually allow Republicans who are minorities to have the same opportunities as white Republicans. There's been lots of black (for example) Republicans in the past who quit or got out of the public eye because of racism. J.C. Watts being one example. Republicans will point to Herman Cain and claim that proves they're open to minorities but it only really proves that they got desperate and felt he would be easy for them to control, imo.

    March 20, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  21. mstipton

    and let not even talk about the toppings.

    March 20, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  22. FoonTheElder

    And that bad crust was created by fellow extremist Republican Tom Monaghan, the original owner of Dominos. Monaghan has been busy creating religious fundamentalist legal schools to take over the judicial system of the US to implement his extremist fundamentalism.

    March 20, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  23. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    People don't forget the mean and hateful things that are said and done to them and that's a matter of trust not pizza.

    March 20, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. chuck bowen

    No original thought just steal it from the Pizza Guys .....Paul is the man with it all....Democrats celebrate Rand Paul the man with it all....Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    March 20, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  25. gladiatorgrl

    but he'll take THEIR MONEY none the less

    March 20, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
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