Ron Paul may lag in the polls but his campaign has enough money for a private jet

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) arrives at the California Republican Party Convention on September 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Ron Paul
Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) arrives at the California Republican Party Convention on September 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

SPENCER, Iowa - Ron Paul has turned jet-setter.

On what was planned as a three-stop tour of Iowa Tuesday, the Republican presidential candidate who has made fiscal conservatism his hallmark missed his first event because of problems with his private, leased jet. According to an aide, the Texas congressman had to commandeer a new jet and pilot to continue on.

Paul, whose "money-bomb" donation drives and devoted followers have made him the third-most successful fundraiser in the presidential field (behind President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney) as of June 30, even though he lags in the polls, addressed the audience at his first event, in Council Bluffs, by phone.

Special Section: Campaign 2012

Arriving here, for his final event of the day, he hosted a town-hall meeting for about 150 supporters in a packed room plastered with Ron Paul posters. Paul professed to be delighted that Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico who shares Paul's libertarian views, made the cut for Thursday night's Republican presidential candidates' debate in Orlando. "Oh I think it's great," Paul said.

After a few questions, however, an aide intervened. It was time for Air Paul to head back to Washington, D.C. , where he's scheduled to be the featured attraction at a Wednesday morning press breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor and where, the aide promised, the congressman would get to work solving some of the problems he had discussed on the presidential campaign trail.

  • Rodney Hawkins On Twitter»

    Rodney Hawkins covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.

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