Republican Marg Baker, who suggested illegal immigrants be put in camps until they can be sent back to their homeland, has found herself in the national TV crosshairs of MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann.
Olbermann opened his Worst Person in the World segment Thursday night with "Marg knows just what to do with them illegal varmints."
In a St. Petersburg Times story Thursday, Baker said to handle the state's illegal immigrant problem, those not in United States legally should be put in camps.
"Collect enough illegal aliens until you have enough to ship them back," Baker said. "E-verify … but we have got to get the illegal immigrants off the streets."
Baker, a Palm Harbor resident, also can be seen on YouTube.com making the same suggestion.
She is running in the Republican primary for the House District 48 seat held by Peter Nehr.
Nehr and Steven Mueller, also both of Palm Harbor, are the other candidates for the seat, which covers most of northern Pinellas and a sliver of Pasco County.
Baker, 69, said Friday she thinks people have misinterpreted her comments.
While not referring to Olbermann specifically, she issued a statement to clarify that she wasn't speaking about the legal immigrants who helped build the nation. "Our country has welcomed them with open arms and so do I."
Baker said she is only asking that the nation's laws be obeyed.
"Illegal is illegal," Baker said in the statement. "The illegals are invading our country. If the federal government were doing their job, we would not have this problem. Instead of doing their job, they are forcing the state to spend billions of dollars to incarcerate and provide health care, education, food, and luxuries to illegals."
Baker said the word "camp has nothing to do with cruelty" but "a place with all the basic necessities but none of the luxuries. Not like camps that were erected in the '40s that were illegal and inhumane."
Baker said if the country's laws are not obeyed, then "we have anarchy."
"What I was attempting to address was a more affordable way to handle the illegal problem until we can get the federal government to do their job."