A black conservative "brings out the worst" in liberals touchy about President Obama's record, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said in response to comments by a North Carolina NAACP official.

"There's something about having unique conservatives placed in pretty prominent positions at a time when there's such a great debate about the wealth gap increasing in the last five years that brings out the worst in some folks," Scott told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. "And I feel sorry for them, honestly."

The Rev. William Barber II, president of the NAACP in North Carolina, last month described Scott as "a good dummy" for a Republican "ventriloquist," and has stood by his remarks since.

Scott said "there's a natural tension, it seems, between being a Republican and the black community," but added that he has diffused that tension even among Democratic rivals in the Congressional Black Caucus, who were initially "a little suspicious" of him/

Worth noting: Scott turned Barber's attack into a veiled shot at President Obama, who has tried to maintain his support among working-class voters by pushing for a minimum-wage increase, by noting that the income inequality lamented by the president has worsened during his time in office. That reflects, at the least, a focus by Scott and other Tea Party lawmakers on appealing to working class and poor voters.

And, perhaps, Scott plans to take a more prominent national role in opposing the president.