N.J. Governor Squashes a Spider in Front of School Kids—and PETA Isn’t Impressed

Chris Christie had a tough day at the office last week when a group of school children were visiting.

The New Jersey Governor tweeted a video showing him kill a spider on his desk, Talking Points Memo reported.  ”Earlier today I saved a few school children from a spider,” he wrote in his tweet late Friday afternoon. Immediately after palming the eight-legged creature, and while the group of students applauded him, Gov. Christie said, “that’s also another fun part of being Governor.  Any bugs that are on your desk, you’re allowed to kill them and not get in trouble,” the New York Daily News noted.

But it looks like he didn’t get away with it unscathed.  Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), responded to Christie’s video in a statement to Talking Points Memo, describing the Governor’s actions as thoughtless.

“He probably did it without thinking,” Newkirk said.  “Some people put the spider outside, but spiders are often scary to people, and that can prevent them from pondering their worth.”

This isn’t the first time a high-profile politician has been caught on film killing an insect, and provoking the disapproval of PETA.  In 2009, President Barack Obama swatted a fly during a televised interview, and PETA released a statement dubbing it an “executive insect execution” that criticized peoples’ thoughtless treatment of insects, Talking Points Memo noted.  The group ended up sending Obama an insect-transporting device so that it could be released outside, Reuters reported.

There’s no sign as to whether PETA sent Gov. Christie a similar contraption, but chances are there’s one on the way, considering how quickly the group sent Obama his humane bug catcher.