Ron Paul Spends $1m on Charter Flights, Double Other GOP Candidates

If you donated to Ron Paul’s Republican campaign, there’s a good chance your money literally went up in the air.

ABC News reports how Paul has spent close to $1 million on charter flights as he fights his way through the the early stages of his campaign for the GOP presidential candidacy. That’s more than double the amount spent by Michele Bachmann, the next closest candidate. Imagine his airmiles.

ABC states that Bachmann has spent $439,000 on flights, while Mitt Romney – who’s apparently a fan of low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines – spent between $300,000 and $400,000.

Rick Perry’s figure is $272,000, but his late entry in the race for the GOP candidacy means his total is more compressed. Rick Santorum is the only candidate not to have used chartered planes, and his comparatively low campaign funds probably explain why.

The Hill points out how Paul and Bachmann’s totals are distorted by both being current sitting members of Congress – that means both will regularly have to travel to Washington from their primary states.

But in Paul’s case, his fondness for short flights has taken its toll – during July, the 76-year-old took flights between some cities that are a two-hour drive apart – Ames, Iowa and Cedar Rapids being examples of this.

The advantages of fast travel are clear to candidates – less time on the road means greater mobility between campaign stops and more time speaking to the unwashed masses. And, with $5m raised in the third quarter alone, I’m sensing Paul can afford his frequent flights.