UPDATE: What was perhaps inaccurately billed as a "debate" between former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton has been called off.


The New York Post says that it was Clinton's people who withdrew from the event, for fears that what was supposed to be a discussion had been billed too aggressively as an all-out one-on-one political bout.

The Post reports:

Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna said the appearance was never slated to be a "debate" and was actually a moderated panel discussion with the 42nd and 43rd leaders of the free world.

"This event ... was supposed to be a discussion between the two former presidents, and has been cancelled because it was not being billed as such by an overeager promoter," McKenna said.

ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are to face off in a political debate staged in New York's Radio City Music Hall, according to published reports.

"The two ex-presidents have agreed to face off on the same stage as part of MSG Entertainment's third annual 'Minds That Move The World' speakers series at Radio City Music Hall in midtown Manhattan on Feb. 25, 2010," The New York Daily News reported.

MSG Entertainment said in a statement that the moderated debate would be "uncensored, unedited and unpredictable," even as it aims to educate.

"Of course, Clinton's too much of a centrist company man to bring the hammer down, and the fun will probably come, as usual, from watching Bush mis-articulate his deluded perspective on his 'legacy,'" snarked the Gothamist blog. "Still, to be safe, Clinton ought to pat Bush down thoroughly before the debate to make sure he's not cheating again."

"Past events have pitted Ann Coulter against Bill Maher and Karl Rove against James Carville," Politics Daily editor Christopher Weber added.

The moderator has not yet been named. Interested parties are being invited to submit debate questions through the MSG Entertainment Web site.

"President Clinton and President Bush [will] each present their thoughts on a wide range of important current events and national issues through a moderated question and answer period during which the moderator can elicit information and insights into particularly pertinent topics of the day," a press release claimed.

Tickets, which go on sale Sunday, are priced between $60 and $1,250.