March 19th, 2014
09:31 PM ET
4 years 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. Keith

    Republicans are masters of the "Big Lie" they have been talking about smaller government all my life, and I voted for them most of my life. I have been voting for 43 years. But every time they are in charge Government grows as much or more than it does under Democrats.

    March 20, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. Dorothy

    GOP like bad pizza crust (...or a bad hair piece).

    March 20, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. carlos

    To the GOP: We want pizza that tastes good, not pizza with good taste.

    March 20, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. He who funds your EBT card

    Can we please just become 2 separate countries already? Let the north pay for lazy poor people!

    March 20, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. Whereisthemiddle?

    Mr Paul. Please change party affiliation to Libertarian and show everyone you mean business. Stay with the snakes and nothing is going to change. Take the plunge and the risk and it will pay off but until then you are just another loud mouth, bad crust trying to get into the spotlight.

    March 20, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. dl

    Tired of same ole pizza, what else is on the menu? Actually, I'm on a diet, can do without

    March 20, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. idiotusmaximus

    He compared the GOP's need for change to a recent Domino's Pizza's campaign to improve the taste of its crust.....

    Which is another way of saying lets change the advertising so as to hook MORE SUCKERS in....cause we're not going to change the ingredients in the GOP cause we're still out to SCREW OVER the people as we support MEGA-BUSINESS.

    March 20, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Don

    I have to agree. The GOP is like bad pizza crust. And Rand Paul is a weird topping on that pizza.

    March 20, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Wake up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    @He who funds......

    Then who is going to pay for the poor in the south??? There are just as many if not more lazy people relying on the government down there.

    But I like your idea. Then I wouldn't have to be offended by that sickening confederate flag anymore.

    Write your Congressman. You can write right?

    March 20, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. MKinSoCal

    Actually, Rand Paul hits on a topic I've been discussing since the Bush Presidency. I actually think that House Majority Leader Boehner, GOP Chair Preibus and other major republican leaders should apologize to the entire nation for their bad governance, especially on matters such as their illogical and visceral opposition to the ACA and their support of the war in Iraq. It would be an unprecedented political event and probably improve the standing of the Republican party among independents.

    March 20, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. SkepticalOne

    Religious zealots do not lean Libertarian. I am a Libertarian and as long as Rand Paul insists that the government interfere with the reproductive rights of women he will not be getting my vote.

    March 20, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. TruthandConsequence

    Rand Paul really needs the support of the Republican Party if he has even the remotest chance of getting elected. His kooky politics, inherited from his father, is so distasteful to the GOP, it will take more than pizza to get them to eat all that nonsense.

    March 20, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. Anonymous


    "Mr Paul. Please change party affiliation to Libertarian and show everyone you mean business."

    Ha Ha. Rand Paul give up his treasured bona fide republican tea party credentials received from grassroots big donor Kochs? Nah. He's going to keep two-stepping his way into political extremist oblivion. Eventually even Kentucky is going to get tired of his condescension and talking down mockery of those he supposedly represents.

    March 20, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. mike

    Ugh. This guy...such a blowhard. I'd half respect him if he could leave the religious derp behind him and be a true libertarian.

    March 20, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. shon

    You know what, I have never been a Paul fan but he made a lot of sense here.

    March 20, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. Zoey Kay

    "The law should not have a racial outcome," he said.

    Yet he still thinks businesses should have the freedom to discriminate.

    Hey Rand, you can say what you want, but we'll pay attention to what you actually vote for. Actions speak louder than words.

    March 20, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Jackson

    He who funds your EBT card

    Can we please just become 2 separate countries already? Let the north pay for lazy poor people!


    And yet, southern states lead in the amount of money taken from government versus the amount they put in.

    As of mid-2012, states that are receiving the most federal funding per tax dollar paid in the United States are:

    1.New Mexico: $2.63
    2.West Virginia: $2.57
    3. Mississippi: $2.47
    4.District of Colombia: $2.41
    5.Hawaii: $2.38
    6.Alabama: $2.03
    7.Alaska: $1.93
    8. Montana: $1.92
    9.South Carolina: $1.92
    10. Maine: $1.78

    Don't you hate when an actual fact gets in the way of your talking point?

    March 20, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. rs

    The truth is that Paul, Santorum, etc. are American Nazi Party members in GOP Clothing.
    Someone had the courage to say that, and CNN didn't censor it. Good!

    March 20, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Kevy

    I'm glad that someone in the Republican Party finally is starting to look at the reality of their problems. The problem is that no one believes them at all when they say that they have changed. When they say yes we are sorry we had rotten crust but we promise that we're improving. No one believes it. Also if I order a pizza and it makes me sick, I will never buy a pizza made by that company again. I don't care how much they dance around and say "I CAN CHANGE, I CAN CHANGE, I didn't mean to be a cruel spirited little bully!" I DON'T BELIEVE IT! AND NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE. I think that they have lost power for a generation or two because of the things that they have done.

    March 20, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. surf.4.sun

    Republican party and Domino's Pizza. What an apt analogy. No matter what you do to either they will still continue to disappoint.

    March 20, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. DonN

    No Senator Rand, the GOP is like week old pizza with green stuff growing on it. Only fit to be thrown out.

    March 20, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. Raj

    What Paul does not realize is, it is just not less government, that is a stupid mantra. You need government to control some of the runaway corporations. We have see time and again, when you leave corporate America unchecked, they become corrupt and selfish. GOP also has to be more inclusive on social front and be accepting of the scientific knowledge. They can not live in the 18th century. They have to moderate their stance on lot of issues before they again can appeal to main stream US

    March 20, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. ART

    Actually Rand the Gop is more like a bad frozen pizza pie, its not just the crust,its everything you guys stand for,its your lack of ideas, your bigotry, the world is flat attitude

    March 20, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. mungo

    Rand Paul says he will let black and brown people do drugs if they vote Republican.

    What about all the black and brown people who don't do drugs. What will the Republican party give them?

    March 20, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. sfarris

    Interesting: CPAC stood and applauded Rand Paul who is calling for a broadening of its base, and yet CPAC excluded gays. Hm...... No conflict here, no broadening here, ..... So, why is Paul even *attending*?

    March 20, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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