Sen. John McCain said Saturday that the United States and Myanmar’s neighbors need to be tougher on the military junta responsible for this week’s brutal crackdown on demonstrators.

The Republican presidential hopeful said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations should be told to “kick these guys out.”

“We should be putting every sanction on them that we can think of,” said McCain. “We should have every place in the world talking about how this kind of thing doesn’t work anymore.”

McCain, speaking outside a supporter’s oceanfront home, described his meeting 10 years ago with Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has been under house arrest for years. He called her the most impressive person he has ever met and noted that she refused to leave Myanmar to see her dying husband in England because she would have been banned from returning.

“She is a woman that’s so remarkable, it’s hard for me to describe to you,” he said.

McCain said later that he was not trying to conjure up the more than five years he spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

McCain does highlight his war-hero biography in new ads being aired in New Hampshire that show him as a wounded Navy pilot answering questions from his prison bed and returning to the United States from Vietnam.

Such heavy advertising would not have been possible a few months ago, before McCain’s broke campaign underwent major political, financial and organizational upheaval. A day before the end of the third financial quarter, McCain said he is satisfied with his fundraising levels.

The demonstrations in Myanmar, also known as Burma, began last month, sparked by anger over massive fuel price hikes. The government admits to 10 deaths in the crackdown that began Wednesday, though opposition groups say up to 200 people were killed.

President Bush has imposed sanctions on key leaders in the Myanmar regime. The Southeast Asian organization to which McCain referred issued its sharpest-ever condemnation of the regime, calling the crackdown “repulsive.”