You know you screwed up when even Jesse Jackson can’t defend you.

Via Politico:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Thursday said that the flap over Vice President Joe Biden’s recent comments concerning Republicans putting people “back in chains” was “not helpful and a distraction from President Barack Obama’s message.”

“What I do know is, just address it forthrightly as overblown rhetoric that was not helpful and a distraction from President Barack Obama’s message,” Jackson said in an interview with POLITICO. “If the president has to reprimand him, that becomes a big issue, if he ignores it, that becomes a big issue. So we just make certain in these exchanges that none of the candidates use language that’s distracting from jobs, justice, education, health care and peace.”

Jackson, the influential civil rights leader, sat down in POLITICO’s office for a free-wheeling interview Thursday. He sharply criticized the state of the presidential campaign, slamming the election so far for lacking substance. In part, he said, that’s the fault of increasingly powerful super PACS.