Trump said and did many bewildering things during his trip to Puerto Rico yesterday, chiefly among them was his remark that Puerto Rico's debt will be "wiped out" so the island can recover.
Forgiving their debt would certainly help, but White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney made it clear this morning that we should not necessarily listen to the words coming out of Trump's mouth.
"I wouldn't take it word for word with that," Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, told CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday. [...]
"This was a very badly mismanaged island for a very long time," he said. "And I think what you saw the president talking about was his acknowledgment that Puerto Rico is going to have to figure out a way to solve that debt problem in order to fix itself going forward."
Generally speaking, this is good advice.
For example, Trump should not have been taken "word for word" when he promised to deliver "healthcare for everybody." Trump should not be taken word for word when he says his tax cuts will benefit the middle class.
But Mulvaney himself also probably shouldn't be taken word for word, not when he calls for deficit reduction out of one corner of his mouth and calls for higher deficits out of the other.