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Romney Defends Sotomayor Criticism in Puerto Rico

Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) -- Campaigning in Puerto Rico, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney continues to defend his criticism of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, an icon in the Latino community.

Sotomayor is of Puerto Rican heritage and widely supported by Democrats and Republicans alike throughout the island. Upon arriving in San Juan on Friday, Romney faced questions about his accusation that Sotomayor is an “activist, a liberal jurist.”

Last week Romney’s campaign released a radio ad in Ohio attacking Santorum for his 1998 vote to confirm Sotomayor to the federal circuit court, a decision that “put her on the path to the Supreme Court,” said conservative lawyer Jay Sekulow in the ad.

In Puerto Rico, Romney told a reporter for Noti Uno, ”I prefer people who follow the Constitution and do not make law as a judge.”

One reporter asked Romney if he understood that this attack ad “is sensitive for many Hispanics.”

But Romney didn’t budge from his opposition to her nomination to the country’s highest court. The former governor said he still disagrees with her judicial philosophy, which he called “quite different from my own.”

Romney added that he would be “happy” to support a Puerto Rican justice, “but they would have to share my judicial philosophy. That comes first.”

Puerto Rico will hold its Republican primary on Sunday.

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