Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.) says if he becomes the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, he will not choose Jesse L. Jackson as a running mate. Jackson recently said that if he does not win the nomination, he would consider the vice presidency as an option.

Interviewed on WNEV-TV in Boston Tuesday, the day of his presidential announcement, Biden said, "I would choose a black man or woman as a running mate . . . . {But} I would not choose one to be my running mate who did not have experience in government, who had not held elected public office . . . . Jesse Jackson is going to make a significant contribution to this race, but he would not be my choice for vice president."

The next day Biden was looking for ways to deflect his comments. He quipped at a news conference: "It seems to me the question is: Who will Rev. Jackson choose? He's the front-runner in this operation. I'm at 1 percent . . . . It's kind of silly for me to speculate. I may be interviewing with Rev. Jackson for a spot on his ticket, rather than he on my ticket."

But some Biden advisers suggested there is value in criticizing Jackson: it attracts attention and places Biden in opposition to someone with high negatives.