WASHINGTON -- President Obama is embarking on two days of political fundraising this weekend, raising money for Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.

Obama -- dressed formally in a dark suit -- departed the White House Friday afternoon for two Democratic National Committee events in Westchester County, New York.

Next on the schedule was a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event in Rhode Island Friday night.

All of Friday's events were at private homes, with limited press access.

Obama will return to the White House overnight, and then return to New York for more fundraising tomorrow.

The White House deflected criticism that the fundraising trip was poorly timed, with world issues like Ukraine and the Islamic State still unresolved.

"The job of any U.S. president is to be able to handle a lot of different responsibilities at the same time," Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday. "One of his responsibilities as the head of the party is to support Democratic candidates who are on the ballot and that's why the president is also spending a little bit of time supporting their efforts."

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