Politics & Government

Obama departs Washington for two-week vacation


President Barack Obama departed Washington late Saturday morning for Martha’s Vineyard, where he and his family will vacation for two weeks.

Obama will return to Washington Aug. 17 for two days and then return to Martha’s Vineyard for the next week. He will come back to Washington Aug. 24.

Press Secretary Josh Earnest declined to say what was bringing Obama back to Washington, but said he would be at the White House meeting with staff.

“The president wanted to take advantage of a little time...to do a day or two of in-person meetings here at the White House,” Earnest told reporters this week. “This is an opportunity for the president to do some in-person meetings here at the White House just for a day or two before he returns to Martha’s Vineyard.”

On Monday afternoon, Obama will attend a fundraising for Senate Democrats on Martha’s Vineyard.

Republicans on Saturday called on Obama to cancel the fundraiser during a “time of extreme crisis” after he just order airstrikes and food and water drops to tens of thousands in norther Iraq.

“Our country’s foreign policy is in shambles,” said the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s Brad Dayspring. “We are facing so many security crises, yet President Obama's instinct is to head to Martha's Vineyard to fundraise for Democrats. It is outrageous and is unacceptable.”

Before he left town, Obama recorded his weekly radio address, explaining he authorized two operations in Iraq and assuring that the United States will not get back into war in Iraq.

“As commander-in-chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq,” he said. “American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis there.”