"I came through the train on Baltimore (sic) last night, I'm glad the train didn't stop," he said, laughing, during an interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham.
Railing against what he repeatedly called "thuggery and thievery" in the streets of Baltimore, Paul told Ingraham that talking about "root causes" was not appropriate in the middle of a riot.
"The police have to do what they have to do, and I am very sympathetic to the plight of the police in this," he said.
As for root causes, Paul listed some ideas of his own.
"There are so many things we can talk about," the senator said, "the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of a moral code in our society."
He added that "this isn't just a racial thing."
Paul, who has branded himself as an advocate of criminal justice reform, also said justice must come from an investigation of the case of Freddie Gray, a black man who died of a spinal injury while in the custody of Baltimore police.
Listen to the clip, courtesy of Media Matters: