Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized President Obama on Tuesday for launching a public campaign in support of his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy.

"It was with some concern that I read this morning that the President plans to hit the road this week to drum up support for his own personal approach to the short and long-term fiscal challenges we face," McConnell said in a statement Tuesday. "In other words, rather than sitting down with lawmakers of both parties and working out an agreement, he’s back out on the campaign trail, presumably with the same old talking points we’re all familiar with." 

Obama's plans include a White House meeting with small-business owners on Tuesday, another White House session Wednesday with wealthy supporters who would be affected by an increase in taxes, a meeting with big-business executives Wednesday and a trip to a toy-manufacturing company in Pennsylvania on Friday. 

"Let me suggest that if the President wants a solution to the challenges of the moment, the people he needs to be talking to are the members of his own party, so he can convince them of the need to act," McConnell said.

But private talks between Obama and top congressional leaders in search of a deal also are accelerating.