President Obama and Mitt Romney on Thursday offered dueling addresses on the economy in the critical swing state of Ohio, providing the first real split-screen day of the general election.

Obama telegraphed the message that he’s the one who has the interests of the middle class at heart on the economy, while Romney railed at the president for being unable to lead an economic recovery.

The two speeches took place at roughly the same time, with Obama addressing a crowd of 1,500 people at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland and Romney speaking at the other end of the state, in Cincinnati.

In his address — the first of several “framing” speeches Obama will make in the coming weeks — the president said the upcoming election offers the American people a chance to decide between two distinctly different views on how to grow the economy, create jobs for the middle class and pay down the debt.