Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist credits President Barack Obama for the nation's increasing support for gay marriage.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Sun-Sentinel, Crist was asked whether he would continue defending the state's ban in court, if elected in November.

“No,” Crist answered. “I don't think the state or government has a role in telling people who to love or who to marry. I know the Attorney General has been in on that fight and I hope we have a new Attorney General after Nov. 4. Our society has moved rapidly in this area. I have. The president of the United States has. A lot of the credit in the change in society’s view in gay rights should go to President Obama. When he did an interview with Robin Roberts a couple of springs ago, he said that he had been thinking about this issue, that he had talked to his wife about this issue and eventually came to the conclusion, 'Who am I to tell people who to love, or frankly, who to marry?' Why would I want to do that?”

As a Republican in 2008, Crist supported the state's ban. Today he calls that a “mistake.”

“It was a mistake. But I'm an older, wiser man now. And I'm willing to continue to listen and be open-minded. If you believe the same things today that you did when you were in high school, I don't know if that's a very bright human being or very enlightened person. I think you have to have the wisdom to understand that things change, facts and circumstances change, and hopefully you gain more wisdom over time,” he said.