Republican New Jersey governor Chris Christie released a video Friday on his official Youtube account in which he smashes a spider with his fist while surrounded by schoolchildren, prompting criticism from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
In a 25-second video entitled, “Governor Christie Saves School Children from Spider,” Christie, who is up for re-election in 2013, smashed and presumably killed a spider on the desk in his office.
“Where is he?” Christie asked the schoolchildren as he searched his desk for the spider. “There he is.”
Christie picked up a phone receiver to kill the insect, then instead crushed the spider with his bare left hand.
“That’s also another fun part of being governor. Any bugs on your desk you’re allowed to kill them and not get in trouble,” Christie said after the children burst into applause at his killing of the spider.
PETA president Ingrid Newkirk told Talking Points Memo that she found Christie’s act to be thoughtless.
“He probably did it without thinking. Some people put the spider outside, but spiders are often scary to people, and that can prevent them from pondering their worth,” Newkirk said.