Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney is throwing his lot in with his party's leadership in Congress, a break with other recent GOP White House seekers who have kept some distance.

On a five-day tour of swing states that wrapped up Tuesday in his home state of Michigan, Romney campaigned with and lavished praise on Republican leaders.

He appeared in pivotal Ohio alongside House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Rob Portman, both from the state. And he stood in Wisconsin with native son Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, whom Romney calls "a great leader."

Romney's strategy carries risks. While it's winning points with the conservative GOP base, many independent voters view the congressional GOP with suspicion.

And approval ratings for Congress overall are in the basement.

Boehner has led House GOP majorities that have crushed Obama initiatives, even legislation some Republicans previously had backed. And Ryan, a tea-party favorite, is the architect of the House GOP budget which would curb the growth of Medicare and other safety-net programs and extend all Bush-era tax cuts, including those for the wealthy.

Other recent GOP White House seekers haven't cozied up to the Republican congressional leadership in quite the same way.

George W. Bush's 2000 "compassionate conservative" platform wasn't always in sync with the right-wing congressional GOP leadership. When he sought re-election four years later, he didn't need help from Capitol Hill. And 2008 nominee John McCain was a senator and didn't tether himself to other GOP lawmakers.

In Michigan, Romney met Tuesday with businessmen and spoke at rally in Frankenmuth, planned to stop by a bakery-cafe in DeWitt and was ending his day with a rally in Holland

Obama was in Los Cabos, Mexico, winding down summit talks with other world leaders, much of it focused on Europe's debt crisis.

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Here is a playlist of Romney's greatest hits:
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  • With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker)

    <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/28/mitt-romney-will-not-repu_n_1551540.html" target="_hplink">(May 28, 2012) --</a></strong> Despite a resurgence of <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/25/mitt-romney-s-new-bff-donald-trump.html" target="_hplink">Donald Trump's birther claims</a>, Romney refused to repudiate the billionaire, who has been helping with his 2012 campaign efforts. "You know, I don't agree with all the people who support me ... I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people," Romney said. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  • Who Let The Dogs Out (Baha Men)

    <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/16/mitt-romney-seamus_n_1429925.html" target="_hplink">(April 16, 2012) -- </a></strong> In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, Romney discussed the political fallout over strapping his dog Seamus to a car roof. He admits that he probably would not do it again. (Handout)

  • It's The End Of The World As We Know It (R.E.M.)

    <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/04/mitt-romney-medicare-president-obama_n_1403267.html" target="_hplink">WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 4, 2012) --</a></strong> Speaking before the Newspaper Association of America, Romney attacked Barack Obama on his health record, claiming the president "has taken a series of steps that end Medicare as we know it." (Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

  • For The Love Of Money (The O'Jays)

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/14/mitt-romney-i-made-a-lot-of-money_n_1345516.html" target="_hplink"><strong>NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 14, 2012) -- </strong></a> Romney became testy on Fox News while discussing his appeal to lower-income voters. On the same day, Occupy Wall Street protesters staged a demonstration outside Mitt's Waldorf Astoria hotel fundraiser. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

  • People Are Strange (The Doors)

    <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/mitt-romney-south_n_1334478.html" target="_hplink">PASCAGOULA, Miss. (March 9, 2012) --</a></strong> While on the trail in Alabama and Mississippi, Romney got in touch with his Southern side, learning how to say "y'all" and liking his grits. With those new experiences in hand, he admitted that "strange things are happening to me." (Photo: AP/Evan Vucci)

  • Pink Cadillac (Bruce Springsteen)

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/mitt-romney-cadillac_n_1299740.html" target="_hplink"><strong>DETROIT, Mich. (Feb. 24, 2012) -- </strong></a> While speaking before the Detroit Economic Club at Ford Field, Romney listed not two, not three, but four American-made cars that he and his wife, Ann, owned. Among the vehicles: "a couple of Cadillacs." (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • It's The Hard-Knock Life (Annie & The Orphans)

    <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/mitt-romney-very-poor_n_1246557.html" target="_hplink">TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 1, 2012) --</a></strong> In an interview with CNN, Romney noted that he is "not concerned about the very poor," citing the social safety net for that segment of the populace. (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  • America The Beautiful

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/31/mitt-romney-america-the-beautiful-_n_1243908.html" target="_hplink"><strong>THE VILLAGES, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2012) --</strong></a> On the eve of Florida's primary, Romney led his supporters in a singing of the patriotic song. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Successful (Drake, Lil Wayne)

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/19/mitt-romney-tax-returns_n_1217708.html" target="_hplink"> <strong>CHARLESTON, S.C. (Jan. 19, 2012) -- </strong></a> During CNN's GOP debate, Romney refused to commit to disclosing his tax returns, offering no apologies for his success. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Bye Bye Bye ('N Sync)

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/mitt-romney-i-like-being-able-to-fire-people_n_1194115.html" target="_hplink"><strong>NASHUA, N.H. (Jan. 9, 2012) -- </strong></a> In a speech about insurance options, Romney tells audience members, "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me." (Photo:AP/Charles Dharapak)

  • Don't Know Why (Norah Jones)

    <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/28/mitt-romney-embraces-climate-change-denial_n_1063905.html" target="_hplink">PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Oct. 27, 2011) --</a></strong> Back in June 2011, Romney said humans are somewhat tied to climate change. By October, he had reversed course, saying "We don't know what causes climate change." (Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)