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McCain promises to remove responsible terrorists

McCain: "This time we're serious."  

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- On a late-night talk show normally dedicated to the punch line, not the hard-line, Sen. John McCain promised Tuesday night the United States would remove from "the face of the earth" those responsible for the terror attacks on New York and Washington.

McCain, R-Arizona, was the first guest on the Tonight Show as Jay Leno returned to the air a week after attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

McCain said the American people need to be prepared for a long battle in the war against terrorism. He said in the past, the United States hasn't responded properly to attacks on U.S. embassies, U.S. forces around the world, or the original bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.

"We send cruise missiles and then we think everything's all right or we try to bring them to trial," McCain said. "My friends, this time they've gone too far. This time we're serious. This time we won't quit until they are gone, completely gone from the face of the earth."

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The normally jovial Leno turned misty-eyed during his opening monologue, saying he had cried a lot watching TV coverage of the crisis.

"It's just incredibly sad," the host of the Tonight Show said.

"You think, well, I can't cry anymore. You go, 'Oh gee,' and you see that pregnant mom, you see that father who lost a daughter," Leno said, touching his head in disbelief.

"Our job here and your job, I think, is to keep fighting the good fight and God bless America," Leno said as his voice cracked.

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