Iowa family values group to welcome ... Donald Trump?

Vander Plaats pointed to Trump’s protectionist-tinged rhetoric on trade with China and his “bold stance on Obama’s record regarding what the birth certificates say” as reasons why the host of NBC’s “The Apprentice” continues to attract interest from rank-and-file conservatives in the nation’s first voting state.

In justifying his pro-family-values group’s invitation to Trump, who has been married three times, Vander Plaats pointed to the 2012 candidacy of the thrice-married Newt Gingrich, who also was greeted with open arms by socially conservative organizations.

“Part of him bringing out strong positions on both sides is why we invite him,” Vander Plaats said of Trump. “We don’t believe there’s any perfect candidate. The last perfect one, I think, they nailed to the cross. So we’re not lowering our standards, we’re upholding our standards.”

In addition to Trump, two prospective 2016 GOP presidential candidates have also confirmed that they will speak at the event: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.