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. PaulC

    He couldn't help himself.
    It is part of the GOP platform to automatically blame someone else for your mistakes and bad judgment.
    Republican supporters are a baffling breed. My 84 year old sister survives on social security and medicare but
    religiously votes republican. When I pointed on that she voted for Romney/Ryan when they vowed to convert both to vouchers she responded "Oh, he wouldn't do that".

    October 19, 2013 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  2. Bull

    He's not sorry, the video went viral that is what he is sorry for.

    October 19, 2013 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  3. MFMG

    No where does he say that he was partially to blame for the monument being shut down which is the truth. The only reason he gave the half apology is because he was caught on tape and the nation saw what a jerk he is.

    October 19, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  4. Malory Archer

    You said it, you meant it. Your so-called apology is as empty and meaningless as you.

    October 19, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  5. DWS

    WOW and it only took two weeks and a letter to apologize for acting like a moron! He needs to be voted out !!

    October 19, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  6. Charles

    Another Republican shoots himself in the foot.

    October 19, 2013 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  7. Cruzed

    It was a good thing Neugebauer wasn't packing a hand gun. He may have ended up shooting her, seeing how he so little control over how emotional he gets.

    October 19, 2013 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  8. JD

    Another loudmouth from Texas!

    October 19, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  9. Mark

    An apology is a start. How about showing that he learned something from the incident? The value of the NPS?, Of federal employees? Actions speak louder than apologies, show us more.

    October 19, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  10. Nameless Vet

    Typical politician. He must have found out that the polls were saying negative things about him for confronting an officer just doing their job. If they had said positive things, he would not be apologizing. God Help America, our politicians are killing us.

    October 19, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  11. Mel

    He should have apologized. He looked and sounded like an arrogant ass. Unfortunately, his type of power hungry personality types seem to be the ones that like public office. We need to make being a congressman or senator not the most lucrative job that person will ever have. The job draws people that like power, attention and money. Voters aren't electing the best candidates, they're having to choose between the lesser of the evils.

    October 19, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  12. LouisianaMan

    The good, parasite sucking 'boy on the hill public servant' has to be reminded that not only his rude, boorish outburst has to be condemned...
    ...................................BUT this jackal and his cohorts VOTED for the shutdown that included the Memorial.

    BTW...wonder if he and family are still accepting the excellent, over the top health care insurance courtsey of the same struggling taxpayers these jackals deny and begrudge affordable coverage to. BET SO!!

    October 19, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  13. Dennis B Wilcox

    Too little, too late. Perhaps the best bumper sticker is "Never re-elect anybody."
    I plan to vote for no sitting congress persons in upcoming elections – regardless of party.
    Perhaps the only message congress as individuals and system hears is "You're fired!"
    As for the "experienced" argument, newbees could not do any worse.

    October 19, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  14. truthteller

    He caused the shut down, then scolds her for it being closed. Brilliant logic there.

    October 19, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  15. true_American

    Park service employee should be ashamed of themselves.

    October 19, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  16. dondiego

    Stay classy, GOP, stay classy.

    October 19, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  17. Uncle Bob

    Once again a Republican speaks and confirms they have no idea how the world is for the working American people.

    October 19, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  18. bassmaster22

    Amazing. A government employee in the form of a park ranger does her job when congress doesn't and she's the problem?
    You can't close the government and then complain that things aren't open when those things are making you look bad. Let's defund congress.

    October 19, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  19. Bob E

    What a sport.

    October 19, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  20. don in albuquerque

    Apology my butt! Resign because you are a disgrace to the American People. Resign before kyou are voted out of office. We know what you think of the people now, and it is you and the state that elected you that should be ashamed. Ever think about a recall Texas, or is this something you are proud of?

    October 19, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  21. Betty

    Hypocrite. Blaming others for what your actions caused. Why don't you apologize for that?

    October 19, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  22. oldleftcoastdude

    Just another Texas tea Partier shooting off his mouth. Typical.

    October 19, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  23. John

    Don't accept an apology from this fool. What he did was done for a sound bite to excite the crazies. Now his apology is to try to sooth the non-crazies that are out for his blood, seat.

    October 19, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  24. Dayffd

    Yeah, he's sorry alright. He doesn't need to be a representative; he should be voted out of office.

    October 19, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  25. Dave

    He should just apologize to America for being an ignorant imbecile....and prove it by resigning......
    Jerks like him, Sen. Cruz and others...are the ones responsible for the shutdown....then try and point fingers at Obama and the democrats saying it was their fault.......TERM LIMITS need voted in IMMEDIATELY....

    Maybe Cruz would want to talk about his unreported overseas bank accounts in front of congress for 22 hours....

    October 19, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
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