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.

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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. whatever

    That congressman needs to go...period. Texas-if he is reelected, you should be the ones ashamed

    October 18, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  2. m

    I like to vomit on Confederate Flags.

    October 18, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  3. Orb4

    NOBODY apologizes better than an idiot Republican! NOBODY! Never mind that this absolute idiot and his never to be outdone idiot contingent from Idiot land – Texas – is the reason the parks were closed.

    October 18, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  4. DocHollywood

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

    No, representative Neugebauer, it is YOU who should have been ashamed. Because it was YOU and YOUR PARTY that shut down that memorial, along with everything else. And now, you think you can just throw out an apology and all is forgiven. I sincerely wish the people of Texas would vote your sorry butt out. But they won't.

    October 18, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  5. NC2012

    WOW the Park Ranger is doing her job ~ and is scolded by a nitwit that is not doing his job...Why was he out there scolding the ranger when he should have been inside with the rest of the tea party doing his job... What a jerk...and he is a US REP? was he was looking for a photo op ? protecting the Veterans Memorial while the country went down the drain?

    October 18, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  6. noly972

    This hypocrisy (as well as the rest of the shutdown) is the result of how out of touch some of our politicians are with the rest of Americans. He berates someone doing the job she's required to do because he and his cronies tried to make a useless point rather than doing their jobs. At least he seems to have a conscience. But, sadly, its probably just politics as usual. (Damage control.) And, he wasn't the only one. He's just the only one of them to own up to his/her hypocrisy and inappropriate comments & actions. (We'll likely see activity from some copycats next week.)

    October 18, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  7. Erik Blaum

    Hows that????
    A Congressman thief saying sheeeeeeee should be ashamed??????
    Thats funnier then the last 7 seasons of SNL.

    October 18, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  8. marc raymond

    How does one get to high position without knowing, for certain, that it is always better to have the mouth controlled by the head, rather than the heart. Sheesh.

    October 18, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  9. M'lynn

    Another non-apology from another loudmouth.

    October 18, 2013 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  10. Dave

    Translation of this letter:

    Please don't vote me out!

    October 18, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  11. Poodlepuff

    GOP politician apologizes.
    Ranger tells politician; "Up yours bud!"

    October 18, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  12. Laura

    He's sorry his remarks were caught on tape. That's all. Being a republican, he voted for the shutdown that closed them. I'll bet he helped with the budget cuts that hit the NPS extremely hard last spring too.

    Neugebauer is an embarrassment. That park ranger he verbally abused has more class and dignity than he will ever hope to have.

    October 18, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  13. Allinstride


    October 18, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  14. Mike Buck

    Too late. Your dick move shows your hypocrisy and you used bullying tactics used to appease your cronies in the Take Education Away (TEA) Party. You played a game of Texas hold 'em and Obama played chess. Checkmate.

    October 18, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    If anyone should be ashamed it's him. This train wreck of a situation was Congress' fault anyway.

    October 18, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  16. Kathleen Scott

    The non-apology apology! His "tone" was inappropriate, it does not reflect his "regard" for the Park Service. Really! He created an opportunity for himself to have it both ways: to vote for the shut down, then run out and scold those upholding his vote for doing their jobs. He's a nasty, petty, self-aggrandizing donkey who should be run out of Congress in the midterms, and disappear from public life.

    October 18, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  17. Jd

    Sort of think that the verbal blast was really for the cameras.....same now for the apology.

    October 18, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  18. DAT

    He was just a Republican being a Republican – in other words, he doesn't know any better.

    October 18, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  19. Jeep146

    I would of told him to get back to congress so the parks could re open instead of making trying to get on the news.

    October 18, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  20. airjackie

    Either Rep. Neugebauer is senile or he was drunk the night he voted to shut down the government. Clear sign elected Tea Party lawmakers really don't know much about the job of governing or what their doing. Neugebauer yelled about entering a National Park while denying 5 fallen soldier's families their death benefits for the funerals. Thank goodness VP Biden called quickly and apologized to the Ranger for the ignorance of the Congressmen.

    October 18, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  21. G.R.R.

    Texans, I hope that you will fire him.

    October 18, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  22. Michael

    Rep. Randy Neugebauer should be ashamed of himself. HE was the reason she was turning away veterans. She was just doing the job his Congress mandated. And then he had the GALL to suggest she should be ashamed? He should have been apologizing to her then and there for personally making her turn away our nation's heroes.

    October 18, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  23. Tom

    I was "caught up" in emotion because I was on air and wanted my donors to see me be a hard guy
    , now I want to apologize to show 'future donors' that I am not that kinda guy.

    October 18, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  24. davecu

    First Class Ranger with a capital CLASS!

    October 18, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  25. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    You are an absolute dick.

    October 18, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
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