After riots erupted in Baltimore Monday following the funeral of Freddie Gray, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, provided a reason for the violence: a "breakdown" in families and a "lack of fathers."
"It's something we talk about, not in the immediate aftermath, but over time," Paul, who is vying for the Republican nomination in 2016, said Tuesday during an interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. "The breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of sort of a moral code in our society. This isn't just a racial thing. It goes across racial boundaries."
Paul added that the looting and chaos in the city was "depressing" and "scary."
"I came through Baltimore on the train yesterday," the Kentucky Republican said. "I'm glad the train didn't stop."
One person was critically injured in a fire and 20 officers were hurt after the riots broke out in Baltimore, when peaceful protests took a violent turn after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody. Nearly three dozen juveniles were arrested, with more than 200 adults taken into custody after cars and businesses were set ablaze. About 2,000 National Guardsmen were stationed around the city Tuesday night.
Paul, who has been an advocate of criminal justice reform, added that the federal government may not be able to provide an answer to the violence.
"It obviously is a local problem, primarily," the presidential candidate said. "But you do have to have enough show of security, enough of show of a police force, to deter the kind of action."
Ted Cruz: Government must "preserve the peace"
Another presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also said that "our government must perform its central functions and purposes: to preserve the peace, protect the people, and serve justice."
The Texas Republican declared that "no man, woman, or child should fear for his or her safety in America-not in their schools, not in their neighborhoods, not in their cities-but today families are scared."
"The government exists to ensure our domestic security--whether it's from a city riot, or the threat of a terrorist attack on our homeland," Cruz said. "We have to restore that trust and prove to the people we can make America safe again. Every case deserves justice, and the facts surrounding Freddie Gray's death should be thoroughly and impartially investigated. But rioting and mayhem are not the answer."
Chris Christie provides state police support
In response to the violence, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has pledged a number of his own state's police force to help patrol Baltimore.
On Twitter, the Republican governor, who is weighing a bid for the White House, announced the deployment of 150 state police.
Ben Carson: Destruction "very sad and unfortunate"
Dr. Ben Carson also weighed in on the riots, calling the destruction "very sad and unfortunate."
In an interview on CBSN, Carson said he was "pleased to see a number of responsible citizens" had joined protesters and were trying to "create separation between the police and those who are perhaps immature in their actions to keep it from escalating. That's the Baltimore I know."
He also sees the violence over the past couple of days as a function of poverty. "[W]henever you find a situation when you have a concentration of people and a lot of poverty, I don't think it's going to matter that much what their race is," Carson said.
Hillary Clinton: End "era of mass incarceration"
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talked about the situation in Baltimore. In a speech in New York, she said, "What we have seen in Baltimore should, indeed - I think does, tear at our soul." And she went on to say that those who were "instigating further violence in Baltimore are disrespecting the Gray family and the entire community."
The former First Lady called for an end to the "era of mass incarceration," in a speech in New York Wednesday morning. She proposed body cameras for every police department in the U.S. and discussed her vision for criminal justice reform.
Martin O'Malley "just wanted to be present"
Former Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is expected to make an announcement for the Democratic presidential nomination, is taking a tour of the beleaguered city, saying Tuesday that he "just wanted to be present."
"There's a lot of pain in our city right now and a lot of people feeling very sad," O'Malley said.
Obama: "no excuse" for violence
"This has been a slow rolling crisis...this is not new and we shouldn't pretend that it's new," the president said Tuesday at the White House.