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. pbcalif

    Rep Neugebaur did himself in. He was shown all over national TV and he was every bit himself, a total callous clown.

    October 18, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  2. Loser!!

    Its her job you idiot! Besides its your right wing whacko party that was in charge of the circus shutdown. Stop using Vets as a political tool, we all know you don't care sir!

    October 18, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  3. Nik without a C

    About time. All Republicans will feel the wrath of the Democrats. More to come next year. Finally DEMS have woken up and now they are seeking reveage to get all their 24 million from REPUBLICANS the nasty ones to the far right. namely the TEA Party.

    October 18, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  4. deseon

    Another republican trying to get some street cred with the tea party crowd by creating a photo op of himself berating the hated federal worker. Too bad he had to walk it back cause he looked like the self righteous jerk he apparently is.

    October 18, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  5. P. Monche

    Sorry? I bet he voted to close the Gov. down, Then Pretends He cares about Vets, He should be ashamed!!!.

    October 18, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  6. Truly

    The WWII memorial was closed due to lack of funding from Congress not doing their job. The U. S. Park Service ranger was on duty. I wonder if she was classified as an excepted employee? Meaning she was working and not getting paid, while he was disrespecting her and drawing a pay check.. If Rep. Neugebauer can berate her on national television, then make an apology on national television. Don't send a letter, make an apology to the National Park Service on Fox, CNN, etc.

    October 18, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  7. penguin

    An apology doesn't explain why he did it. His actions reveal his real self, and that self is a mean spirited ignorant man

    October 18, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  8. Radgast

    I just want to understand this... Congress shuts the government down, then a member of congress tells this person she should be ashamed? I think he needs more than one letter to a park ranger...

    October 18, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  9. matty ice

    Wow this is so funny. Typical I will definitely vote tis hypocrite Nimrod ooooooooout of office

    October 18, 2013 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  10. Rozzie

    what a rotten coward! the shutdown was his fault - along with the other GOpee-pee-ers! how Un-American!
    but then - what do you expect from lying traitors!

    October 18, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  11. Zolicon

    A force apology is not an apology.The only reason He apologized is because it happen while a Camera was focused on Him when it happened.

    October 18, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  12. MrShabazz

    A sincere sounding apology. That's rare from a republican. I give him credit.

    October 18, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  13. Skip Glanz

    Now that the photo op is over he feels bad. He should feel bad for 1 belittling the Ranger and 2 being responsible for the shutdown. I was involved with an Honor Flight and we were never denied access to the Memorial, so his supposed anger was all for show. He should apologize to all Americans that work and earn their money because they do their jobs.

    October 18, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  14. mharris400

    I'm willing to bet there would not be any apology if the Republicans had come out on 'top'.

    October 18, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  15. JacinJax

    So he goes out there knowing that it was the House GOP who shutdown the government following behind their new king Ted Cruz and berates a US Park Service Ranger to get his name and face on the news. Even though this person is only doing their job–without pay. But now he's sorry? His lame excuse is he got carried away in the moment. He got carried away in his own ego. I would hope he wouldn't be re-elected but he is from Texas so I guess he'll be back next year.

    October 18, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  16. jennifer in Houston

    All republicans should be ashamed and should get rid of the teaparty if they want to survive..

    October 18, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  17. reply

    Why apologize for the hurt Obama put on our WWII vets? On a normal day you can just walk up to this memorial (day-or-night), but the Park Service (Obama) just wanted to put has much hurt on the public to underscore the shutdown's effect.

    October 18, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  18. NMACT

    This epitomises the GOP behavior: create a problem and then blame innocent people for the results.

    October 18, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    So, Rep. Randy Neugebauer, a Texas Republican, shuts down the government and then berates a park ranger caught up in the mess he and his colleagues made... She's now doing her job, and he doesn't like what he has created, but it's always someone else's fault... Way to think things out, moron.

    October 18, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  20. AtlJack

    Randy Neugebauer is yet another GOP bully who berated someone with less power.

    This woman remained calm and professional while this elected official threw a tantrum.

    Texas, go ahead and secede from the union. You're sending too many people like this to Washington.

    October 18, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  21. RayJacksonMS

    Not good enough. He needs to be run out of office.

    October 18, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  22. aaron

    Never let be said the U.S. does not have royalty. These members of Congress get away with crap that the average citizen would be arrested for.

    October 18, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  23. Arwen

    This guy is a world class jerk – otherwise, he would never have behaved in such an ugly manner. Kudos to the gracious ranger for the way she handled herself, and for the wise decision to remain anonymous. Hopefully this congressman will never be re-elected.

    October 18, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  24. Christopher Rose

    hah. next time I bet he pulls a gun. These tea party types are crazy.

    October 18, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  25. Close2theEdge

    Uh yeah. Too little too late. This clown has been pulling nonsense like this for years. He bullied a Ranger who was doing her job, and shamelessly shilled for the cameras. Sorry your little stunt backfired, Congressman. You get absolutely zero points for trying to cover it up after the fact.

    October 18, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18