Mitt Romney addresses a business roundtable with company leaders in Washington. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney continued trying to convince voters last week that they are the better candidate to rebuild the economy.

Romney honed his message to business leaders, speaking in Washington at the quarterly meeting of the Business Roundtable, an association of corporate executives, where he said the government should be a friend to business.

“Government has to be the partner, the friend, the ally, the supporter of enterprise, not the enemy,” Romney said in front of about 100 executives at the Newseum. “Too often you find yourself facing a government that looks at you like you’re the bad guys. If you’re hiring people and employing people and paying taxes, you’re the good guys.”

In the 30-minute speech, Romney said new regulations and health care reform under Obama discouraged private businesses from hiring, the LA Times reported. He also reiterated proposals he has spoken about before, including lowering taxes, reducing regulations and repealing Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Health Care Act.

“My priority is bringing jobs back to America, growing American jobs, having such competition among you to hire good people that wages go up again,” he said. “The job of the government … is to make America the most attractive place in the world for enterprise, innovators, investors, job creators.”

A day later, both Romney and Obama delivered campaign speeches in Ohio centered around the economy.

Romney accused Obama’s policies of making it harder for entrepreneurs to start a business and “made it less likely for a business like this to hire more people,” he said in Cincinnati.

In Cleveland, Obama speechframed Romney’s approach to the economy as a throwback to the George W. Bush era of cutting taxes for the wealthy and lifting regulations for corporations.

“Gov. Romney and his allies in Congress ... maintain that if we eliminate most regulations, we cut taxes by trillions of dollars ... then the power of businesses to create jobs and prosperity will be unleashed and that will automatically benefit us all,” Obama said. “They promise to not only keep all of the Bush tax cuts in place, but add another $5 trillion in tax cuts on top of that.”

That $5 trillion in tax cuts would mean slashing financial aid to 10 million college students, losing early education programs for 200,000 children and reducing medical research grants, Obama said.