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Charlie Crist changes his tune on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Gov. Charlie Crist said Thursday he'd likely support repealing the policy that bars openly gay people from serving in the military -- reversing what he told reporters three days ago.

In a statement from his campaign, Crist said he'd "be inclined'' to support a Senate compromise. That deal lifts the ban, but only after the Pentagon completes a study and the president and Pentagon brass certify that the change won't hurt the military.

"Ultimately, as in all military matters I defer to the Pentagon and to the generals and what the Senate is doing today is giving them the ultimate authority to do what is best for our military," Crist said.

Crist told reporters in Tallahassee on Monday that "I think the current policy has worked pretty well for America. I really do. So I don't know why there's any need for change at this time."

With polls showing Crist popular with some Democrats, Democrat Kendrick Meek had been using his longtime support for repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'' to cast himself as the "true progressive" in the race. Republican Marco Rubio opposes lifting the ban. A press release from his campaign charges Crist with changing positions "in just three days."

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