Trump campaign dispatches Pence to shore up Mormon support -- after harsh criticism from Mitt Romney and Jeff Flake: report
Mike Pence, photo by Gage Skidmore.

The president's 2020 election campaign continues to play defense in Arizona, a once reliably-Republican state.

"President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is looking to shore up support among a specific population of Arizonans: members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," the Arizona Republic reported Monday. "Vice President Mike Pence is coming to Mesa Tuesday to help launch a 'Latter-day Saints for Trump' coalition in what appears to be a late-in-the-game play to win over LDS voters, who tend to vote Republican but hold values that clash with some of the president's."

The church claims over 430,000 members in the state.

"Some of Trump’s most vocal, high-profile critics are both Republican and Mormon, including Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz," the newspaper reported. "Romney broke ranks with members of his party during Trump's impeachment trial by voting that Trump was guilty of abuse of power charges. He has said that he will not vote for Trump in the 2020 presidential election."

"Flake declined to comment Monday about the Trump campaign's effort to secure support among Mormon Arizona voters. However, Flake has repeatedly cited concerns over what he sees as Trump’s disdain for traditional Republican Party values," the newspaper noted, citing a recent tweet from Flake.