GOP congressman apologizes for scolding Park Service ranger
October 18th, 2013
06:43 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP congressman apologizes for scolding Park Service ranger

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Randy Neugebauer, a Texas Republican who berated a U.S. Park Service ranger at the then-barricaded World War II Memorial during the partial government shutdown, sent a letter of apology to the director of the National Park Service.

Neugebauer's office said he reached out soon after the October 2 incident to get the ranger's contact information to apologize in person, but they did not hear back from the Park Service until this week due to the shutdown.

According to Neugebauer's spokesperson, Heather Vaughan, the Park Service told his office that the ranger requested to stay anonymous and preferred the congressman write a letter to the director of the NPS, rather than call her personally.

In the letter, dated Thursday, October 17, Neugebauer wrote that he was "caught up" in emotion after seeing veterans turned away from the memorial, and "my tone was inappropriate."

"I regret how I handled that situation, and I would like to offer you my apologies," he added.

RNC offers to pay for WWII memorial guards

The letter was hand-delivered on Friday, Vaughan said.

"I'm sorry for the way I spoke, not only because I put the Ranger on duty in an uncomfortable position, but also because my remarks were not an accurate reflection of the regard I have for the Park Service," he wrote.

When Neugebauer confronted the ranger at the memorial on October 2, he said, "How do you look at them...and deny them access? I don't get that."

The ranger responded saying, "It's difficult."

"It should be difficult," he said. "The Park Service should be ashamed of themselves."

She replied saying she was not ashamed.

"Well you should be," he told her.

While the memorial was technically barricaded during the shutdown, groups and individuals were free to enter the site to engage in First Amendment activities, according to National Park Service guidelines.

Veterans break past World War II Memorial barricade

Filed under: Government Shutdown
soundoff (445 Responses)
  1. joe

    Well he just lost one vote lol.

    October 18, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Evergreen

    The past 16 days made it clear to the world that a faction of the GOP are totally unhinged. When will the Republican party do something that indicate they are capable of leading this nation.

    October 18, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. rs

    Day late and a dollar short. Now can Mr. Neugebauer apologize for shutting down the government and helping to blow 24 BILLION of the taxpayer's dollars??

    October 18, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. VET-2

    he is full of it

    October 18, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    We have our share of elected republican embarrassments in FL. Hopefully we will get our do over in 2014.

    October 18, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  6. Robert Camacho

    Shame on Rep. Randy Neugebauer and the Republicans/Tea Party.

    No wonder that Party is moving America in the wrong direction.

    Proud to be an American and a Democrat (The Party of the People)

    October 18, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  7. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    At least he's sorry and did apologies , now when's Cruz going to pay back the 24 billon dallars he caused the USA to lose off the GDP and from flesing old ladies?????

    October 18, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  8. Clarke

    She was doing her job, he was not, he helped shut it down. Shameful man!

    October 18, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    only one person present who should have been ashamed of himself, ain't no apologizing that can fix dat

    October 18, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  10. Data Driven

    Bleh, he only apologizes because he has become a national embarrassment.

    "It's too late baby, now it's too late" - Carole King

    October 18, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  11. Jay Boston

    This heading is very misleading, This congressman was 100 percent right to scold this person, this is a war vet memorial and nobody should be denied. I applaud this Republican for having the guts to speak up and call the park employee out.

    October 18, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  12. Melissa

    he told her she should be ashemed of herself while she is working without pay following the law?? all the while the site was closed because of imbeciles just like him!! the irony and decadance this situation reflectsis is beyond words.. throw that useless politician out!!

    October 18, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. djshade

    Good for the Ranger for seeing this as his political move in trying to get right with the people.

    October 18, 2013 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  14. T

    .......Congressional Texas...TOOL.......

    October 18, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  15. plain and simple

    How we treat the least of these!!!! Hard words to live by....not many of us can. Let's hope power doesn't corrupt us to much. Especially the reglious right.

    October 18, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  16. Dan

    He got his sound bite and clip for Fox News. His admission to being an ass won't get nearly the same coverage.

    October 18, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  17. Jez

    Just like the GOP – spew anger, ignorance and hate, and then try to back-step when their nasty behavior hurts their coveted careers.

    October 18, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  18. Thinker

    He's still a jerk.

    October 18, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  19. A Kickin' Donkey

    Kudos to the Park Ranger for denying this publicity hog from Texas another camera opportunity to rehabilitate his image. The GOP's faux "support the troops" yammering is a total fraud and for this Texas Congressman to pretend that cared was outrageous on its own. Republicans think they can be rude, bully-ish, judgemental, hypocritical, flip-flopping, lying, misleading, callous, boorish, uncoth; all without paying a price. Tthey are wrong. We expect intellect and civility from our representatives even if they disagree. This guys fails to meet that standard.

    October 18, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. James P. Barber

    He did the right thing. Hope it wasn't just because he was caught. Now he should man up and apologize to the rest of the nation.

    October 18, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Dan5404

    The primary problem was that he and his right-wing friends shut it down in the first place.

    October 18, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  22. Jerry

    Rep. Randy Neugebauer should not be apologizing to anyone. The park rangers were simply following Obama Administration directives.

    Therefore, President Obama SHOULD be the one apologizing!!! This vindictive president and Democrats staged the whole shutdown. Obama and his lemmings planned the the whole staging months ago in order to make the Republicans look bad and to get the funding increases that they were seeking.

    This president and my fellow Democrats have no shame! And, Democrats are allowing this president to cause the most unjustly pain to the Américan populace.

    The sad part about this whole episode is that Obama and Democrats accomplished exactly what they set out to do. But, in the dirtiest of manners. Then they demand respect and support from the Republicans.

    The real and saddest part is that a considerable number of Américans nimbly and gullibly swallowed Obama's/Democrat's propaganda/lies hook, line, and sinker.

    October 18, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. racegirl1

    So the jerk is sorry for the way he spoke not about what he said. You handled this badly, no you handled it the way you wanted because cameras were there and you thought it would be good press. You are definitely a jerk of the 1st order.

    October 18, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  24. Name

    So the republicans shut down the government then chastise the one person who really wants it open so she can get paid. Massive balls.

    October 18, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  25. JeffreyRO5

    GOP Congressman gets caught on video that he can't control, that shows how shallow he is. Yes, of course, he's going to apologize.

    October 18, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
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