Connecticut state rep. tells 17-year-old girl he has a "snake under my desk" that can help her with shyness

Snippet from a Connecticut State Appropriations Committee hearing about a program to help students overcome shyness:

17-year-old-girl: "I am usually a very shy person, and now I am more outgoing. I was able to teach those children about certain things like snakes that we have and the turtles that we have… I want to do something toward that, working with children when I get older."

Connecticut state Rep. Ernest Hewett (D): "If you're bashful I got a snake sitting under my desk here."

Hewitt later responded to critics: “If she had said elephants, I would have said elephants.”