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The Marines also acknowledged that the public narrative of Sgt. Meyer’s actions on the battlefield, as it appeared on the Marine Corps website, was his “personal account” of what happened. “We supported this communication method in large part because of Sgt. Meyer’s personal desire to not retell with each interview, and thereby relive, what he calls the ‘worst day’ of his life.”

IOWA

GOP governor unsure of Gingrich’s discipline

SIOUX CITY — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, says he’s unsure presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has the discipline and focus to be president.

In an Associated Press interview Thursday, Mr. Branstad was asked if the former House speaker, who is leading in Iowa polls, had the discipline to be president.

Mr. Branstad said of Mr. Gingrich, “Whether he has the discipline and the focus, I don’t know.”

Mr. Branstad said he probably won’t endorse a candidate before the Jan. 3 caucuses in Iowa.

He described the Republican race in Iowa as volatile and said missteps count in the final days.

CONGRESS

College playoff supporters start national campaign

Proponents of a college football playoff are launching a national campaign aimed at taking down the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).

The We Want a Playoff Now campaign was introduced Thursday on Capitol Hill. It includes the lobbying firm the Moffett Group, headed by former Rep. Toby Moffett, Connecticut Democrat, and the communications firm, New Partners.

Along with that effort, two congressmen are forming the Congressional Collegiate Sports Caucus. The congressmen, Texas Republican Joe Barton and Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen, are reintroducing Mr. Barton’s 2009 bill aimed at forcing college football to switch to a playoff system. The long-shot bill would ban as unfair and deceptive the promotion of a postseason NCAA Division I football game as a national championship unless it’s the outcome of a playoff.

Bowl Championship Series Executive Director Bill Hancock said coaches and athletes prefer the bowl system to a postseason tournament, adding that decisions about college sports are best left to those in higher education, not politicians.

From wire dispatches and staff reports