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2016 candidates on Baltimore riots

  • Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to guests gathered at the Point of Grace Church for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition 2015 Spring Kickoff on April 25, 2015 in Waukee, Iowa. Scott Olson, Getty Images

    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."