March 19th, 2014
09:31 PM ET
9 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."

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"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.

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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. PKRipper

    See a lot of people ripping Rand Paul but what has obama and the democrats done for anybody? The economy is recovering at an anemic pace, businesses aren't growing and obamacare is the trainwreck everyone predicted it would be. Come on liberals, handouts and hopey changy isn't going to fix anything. The only thing it does is keep useless dems in power but they haven't done anything to help the common folks.

    March 20, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. Rich

    The whole pie is rotton. Besides, republicans will never choose an anti-war, isolationist to be their nominee.

    March 20, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. PKRipper

    barrack obama, liar of the year award and still the liberals don't realize how their politicians play them like fiddles. It's very sad.

    March 20, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Mateo

    "It's not just the crust. Republicans are what you get when the cheapest ingredients are used and you hire the lowest skilled worker to toss them together, all because you hate your customers."

    How about no ingredients?

    March 20, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Daniel6

    Another objective look by CNN-Priceless-

    March 20, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  6. Ralph

    Every time I hear a Republican say what has Obama done for this Country I just Laugh. The Republican House worked 124 days last year and passed the lowest number of Bills in the History of Congress. They have only scheduled themselves to work 113 days for 2014. They have the lowest approval rating in the history of Congress. History will remember everything that has been achieved in Obama's Presidency has been done with total Obstruction from the Republican's in this Country. I believe 2016 will be another Democrat in the White House.

    March 20, 2014 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  7. Pete

    Tiring of hearing the right talk of how Obama has done nothing in office. He has done more without the support of the Republicans who want him and our country to fail so they can win the presidency back and drive the final nails into our coffins. Wake up people. He isn't perfect but the right is giving this country away to big business and cutting their taxes while they raise ours to pay for it. Bush started it and the next republican will finish it, along with the USA.

    March 20, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  8. Leftcoastrocky

    and so how would isolationist Rand Paul handle the Ukranian crisis?

    March 20, 2014 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  9. Bubba

    If that crust has been dropped in mud, and run through the bowels of a lazy dog, then it would resemble the GOP.

    March 21, 2014 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  10. Chuck

    The Paul's, muddying the GOP water as usual, thanks for helping us loose the last one

    March 21, 2014 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  11. Navin Jay

    The crust, the sauce, the cheese, the pepperoni, the oven and the kitchen all stink for the GOP. They are the party for the rich of the rich by the rich and don't get me started on how much they hate women. That's why you only see idiots like Michele Bachmann out in front. The guys of the GOP laughing at her behind her back while the rest of the nation laughs in front of her.

    March 21, 2014 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  12. shimmy

    Anonymous, Rand Paul is far from liking Bush more specifically the Patriot Act, If you read anything at all he's criticizing the GOP, yes Rand is a conservative but most importantly he's a LIBERTARIAN and calls out politicians both Dem and Rep for not fulfilling their duties to serve the people. Rand also has a good track record. if you want the corrupt politicians removed and If you want the power of the people to be restored like the founders had envisioned vote RAND.

    March 21, 2014 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  13. mike

    This guy is certifiable.

    March 21, 2014 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  14. Woody's Hay


    obama worst prez? and what was W???


    Shhh! Republicans don't want people to know there was someone between Clinton and Obama ... despite labeling himself "The Decider", he never had responsibility for anything.

    March 21, 2014 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
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