"Nobody here really cares about that. It wasn’t a big deal."

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas picked up the theme this week, calling Mr. Romney a “vulture capitalist” and pointing to Gaffney as an example of the depths to which Mr. Romney will stoop to make a profit.

There is a problem, though. Here in Gaffney, where deeply held Christian beliefs often matter more than jobs, few remember the Holson Burnes photo album plant, let alone the devastation its closing is alleged to have caused back in 1992.

“I have been here all my life,” said Ed Elliott, who sells insurance. “I’m 59 years old, and I’ve never heard of the plant.”

That Bain’s actions carry little resonance in a community whose woes have been seized on by presidential candidates testifies to the impact of the campaigns’ opposition research and their willingness to exploit a convenient storyline. Here in Gaffney, the focus is a little embarrassing for residents who do not know what all the fuss is about.